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Reading nutrition labels can be tricky, but is essential if you want to eat healthy and protect your health. Learn what to look for, and how to compare different food choices.
Did you know that the loopholes in FDA requirements for nutrition labeling allow the processed food industry to trick even the savviest consumer?
That is, if we are reading nutrition labels at all.
When it comes to reading nutrition labels on processed foods, studies show that most people either don't pay attention to them, or don't have the knowledge necessary to make use of them. If you or anyone you know is suffering from health issues like: abdominal pain, candida food allergies, fatigue, diabetes or obesity, reading nutrition labels as part of your Body Ecology program can go a long way toward renewed health.
Most people reading nutrition labels have been programmed to think that the "nutrition facts" are the most important part. Especially for weight control.
This is the section that lists calories, and the weights of macronutrients, sodium, fiber, and different vitamins and minerals on a product.
The good news is that when you follow the Body Ecology program, you don't need to count calories, fat grams, protein grams or carb grams in order to control your weight and be healthy.
Instead, you will learn the Body Ecology foods that support your health and weight, with easy guidelines for balanced nutrition.
In this way, reading nutrition labels becomes less about the ratios and more about the ingredients in the foods you choose.
We've always emphasized that processed foods should be avoided because they contribute to acidic blood,candida, and serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The reality is that even when you are doing your best, and taking steps to eat healthier, there are still times when you want to take short-cuts. And with so many health food stores selling prepared and processed foods, there are better choices today.
However, just because a food is labeled organic or "natural," or is sold in your health food store, does not necessarily mean it is good for you.
Many examples abound of foods that have developed a reputation for being healthy, when in fact they are not. A few examples include some organic, whole grain cereals, energy bars, organic broths, soups, or "natural" salad dressings.
The only way you will know if a food is really healthy is by learning the hidden sources of unhealthy ingredients, and by carefully reading nutrition labelsto look for those ingredients.
The problem is that most processed foods contain sugar in some form or another, but don't list it as "sugar."
These are only a few of the dozens of different names "sugar" has: sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, malt, fructose, glucose, carbitol, mannitol, lactose, evaporated cane juice, or concentrated fruit juice.
Many whole grains with wheat, barley, bran, rye, and oats, and the flours or cereals made from them, contain gluten. But since gluten is also added to many processed foods as a binder, starch or filler, it can be hidden in foods that are free of any of these grains in their ingredients.
Some examples of foods or ingredients that contain hidden gluten include: soy sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, some mustard powders, flavored teas and coffees, hydrolyzed proteins, colorings, flavorings, anything with msg, modified food starch, malt, or graham flour.
Unfortunately you may still be buying the wrong qualities of the so-called "good" oils. Always look for healthy oils that say organic and unrefined. Even if it says cold-pressed, or expeller pressed, it can still be refined and will not be as good for you as the virgin unrefined options.
Read the label carefully when you purchase a product with olive oil. If it says extra virgin that means that it is from the first pressing.
Take care because refined olive oil is often used in products that say simply say, olive oil. For example, Whole Foods Market uses this cheaper quality of olive oil in most of their prepared deli products, so beware.
Avoid canola oil, or soybean oil, used in many organic, "natural" salad dressings.
Be extremely aware of some processed foods making the claim "trans-fat free," when in fact, reading the ingredients list clearly shows that some hydrogenated oils were used.
How does this happen?
The FDA allows food processors to make the claim "sugar-free", or "trans-fat-free" if the serving size of a food has less than half a gram of these items.
Just remember, anything that has "hydrogenated" in the ingredients is bad for you!
For more information read: Why the Processing of Consumable Oils has Devastated America's Health
The food processing industry knows that you are more likely to buy something that says it has "natural flavor" as opposed to "artificial flavor". But the distinction between the two is actually quite arbitrary. Both natural and artificial flavors involve some laboratory processing and additives.
So try to avoid "natural flavors" as much as possible.
Want to choose the right foods to boost your energy and vitality? Find out what foods to eat and what to avoid by reading The Body Ecology Diet.
All of this information can seem overwhelming at first, especially when food manufacturers have so many marketing tricks.
But just like any new skill, take it one step at a time. Reading The Body Ecology Diet is a great way to arm yourself with the kind of information that puts your health into your hands.
When you consume truly wholesome, all-natural foods, and follow the Body Ecology lifestyle, you will rarely have occasion to read nutrition labels. And if you do decide to take short cuts every now and then (and who doesn't?), you'll know exactly what ingredients contribute to your best health!
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