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Reading Food Labels

Processed foods are consumed often these days due to the availability and conveniency, however they can be high in sodium, saturated or trans fats, added sugar, and calories, and typically contain little to no nutrients. They can cause weight gain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, digestion issues, and negatively impact how we feel. You would be surprised to know that some “health foods” out there aren't as healthy as you think. Granola bars, flavored nuts, cereals, yogurt, etc. can often contain a lot of additives. Therefore, it's important to read the labels if you want to limit processed foods. Here are a few tips to hopefully support you on your next grocery shopping trip.

Tips for Reading Labels

  • Don't fall for the claims on the front of the package and look at the nutrition label on the back of it

  • Choose items with minimal ingredients that you can understand

  • Check the serving size and calories and compare it to your daily needs

  • Choose items with lower sodium, saturated/trans fat, and added sugars

  • Check the types of fat- Be on the lookout for saturated and trans fats and the term "partially hydrogenated fats". Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered the healthy fats.

  • Check the sugar- Sugar can be disguised as corn syrup, rice and maple syrup, molasses, honey, malted barley, barley malt, sorbitol, maltitol, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, etc. Aim to consume products with less added sugars.