Overwhelmed Reading Food Labels?

The information in modern food labels can be confusing and misleading. Learn what matters most and what is just “fluff”

These days most people’s shopping carts look like a scene out of the Jetsons. Food comes in boxes, tubes, trays, bags and the like. Unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to this picture. Without much thought we put our health and that of our families in the hands of laboratories and industrial plants where food is transformed.

Many of my clients ask for “tips” on reading food labels. I always say, ” Buy foods without labels”. I am a no-non-sense coach, and I understand that wanting to continue to eat processed foods is an indicative of unwillingness to change. Is this making you feel uncomfortable? Good! Then I touched an area where you need help. Take a deep breath and think of the following: Do you think the processes that happen in a food plant are similar to actual cooking? Be honest with your answer and accept this reality. The rest will be easier if you stop fighting the truth.

In the best of scenarios these types of “chemicalized food-like” items would be an occasional thing. However, if you are stuck on a diet based upon processed foods, I can help you to read labels. This is however, a temporary tool, because now you know that you have to take emotional and lifestyle steps to let go of resistance to make changes. Please make this a process of self-love and respect for your body. I know we are inundated with social pressure to eat this “stuff” but you can, perhaps with some help, find a way closer to natural foods.

So let’s get to the practical help. Remember that controversial ingredients, some of which are illegal in other countries are part of our food supply. My tips are all about simplicity, not about listing the scary things in these foods. Please follow these rules and if they apply to you, consider not buying certain products anymore.

Some of the most doubtful foods are in shiny attractive packaging. Avoid the newest convenient food solution labeled: “Quick, “Easy” “Instant”.

Stay away from anything with more than five ingredients. Simple foods create simple lives.

Don’t buy foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce. You are a human not a science experiment.

Avoid any food item that lists sugar in the ingredients list (same for high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners – anything that ends in “ol”).

Do not buy anything with the words “partially hydrogenated” in it. These are cheap trans fats that can lead to heart and blood pressure complications.

As a rule of thumb if it claims to be “Low fat”, “Low calorie”, “Diet” or “Light” it means it has been chemically transformed to be less harmful than the original version. That doesn’t make it good for you. (Example diet soda or low calorie potato chips)

Look at the first three ingredients listed. The order of items in the ingredient list is based on quantity. Are your foods made mainly with cornstarch, white flour, sugar, soy or any other filler?Don’t waste your money on empty calories.

Now that your have the tools I would like to use some yoga wisdom to further assist you. Apply this mantra to all your grocery shopping” “I love my body (or my family) and I feed it (them) the highest quality food I can afford”. Please do not give your children substitutes for real natural foods like precooked, breaded, processed animal meat. These products can contain unknown animal parts and cheap grain fillers. If a cartoon character is needed to lure your children, know that it is not a natural food. Think about this: What TV character is out there convincing you that apples are healthy? Apples don’t need a publicist. (Maybe they do nowadays).

Finally, if you insist on spending your precious time reading labels, think about the fact that you could use this time to cook a homemade meal. Not only would you develop a new “life skill”, you can have your family participate and make it a bonding opportunity. You will save time & money once you get a few staples in the menu, and the control of what goes into your body will be all yours. 
After all, reading labels is not that beneficial. Forget the stress of reading calories, grams, percentages and doing scientific reading at the supermarket. Take steps towards nature and see your body regain vitality. Once your body aligns again with real foods it will give you the wisdom to continue getting healthier. Your taste will evolve and you will instinctively reject the unnatural foods from your past.

Want to learn more about shopping for healthier options? Join me on August 30, for a grocery and health food store tour. Get all the information here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *