Very important topic this one. I know that the average person would be able to read a food label but would you really be able to tell me what it all means? Do you know what the ingredient butylated hydrozyttoluene is? or what about Polysorbate 80?
Well if you eat any packaged food with a long shelf life you are pretty likely to find butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHA) in the ingredients list. This ingredient in particular causes potentially cancer causing reactive compounds in your body.
What about Polysorbate 80 which is commonly found in children's treats and ice-cream. This ingredient has been found to affect the immune system negatively which can cause severe anapylactic shock. It has also been linked to infertility.
Now I know for myself if I knew something was that bad for me I wouldn't really want to eat it that often nor feed it to my family.
Educate yourself on what it is you are actually putting in your body. Learn how to read labels and know the difference between what is good for you and what is bad for you.
The easiest points I tell my clients to remember when reading food labels and deciding if something is good for them is the following;
- If something has a longer shelf life than it does either in its natural state or if you were to make it yourself, it's full of preservatives which are no good.
- If you can not pronounce an ingredient chances are it's not good for you.
- If an ingredient has numbers in it I would stay clear of it.
- Your ingredients list always lists the ingredients from highest content to lowest. So if sugar is the first ingredient it is the main ingredient in the product.
- If you look in the nutrition value list you will always find sugars and carbohydrates listed. Now sometimes it will say "total carbohydrates" but other times as you can see above it will list carbohydrates, sugars and dietary fibre or fibre. When it doesn't say "total" you need to add all of these three together to get the total amount of carbs in the product. These are all just different words for the same thing and this is where they are tricky in deceiving you.
I know it's a lot to take in but keep these things in mind next time you go to the supermarket. If you buy pre-packaged food start reading what is in it or better yet try to eat food that doesn't require packaging.