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What’s Really In Your Food? How To Read The Nutrition Label

What’s Really In Your Food? How To Read The Nutrition Label

There are three things on the nutritional labels that often get overlooked especially in foods that are considered healthy. Some people just glance at the calorie section, and some don’t read the label at all; how bad can that Italian dressing actually be, right? The first five ingredients listed under the ingredient list are what the item is mostly made of.

Sugar, sodium, and fiber can play a big part in you losing the weight that you always wanted to get rid of. Salad dressing, yogurt, and even frozen fruit is often passed as being “healthy” so people don’t pay attention to the labels warning them that they’re about to eat a glazed donut worth of sugar. It is often that sugar is a main ingredient in items that people consider healthy, and they’re often blindsided by the scale not moving.


There are many kinds of yogurts in the market now, but some are carrying 26g of sugar per cup. The best option for yogurt is going to be a light and fit yogurt with 0g of sugar. When you buy frozen fruit make sure the bag says no sugar added, or you can buy the fruit and freeze it yourself. The glycemic index contains valuable information about how carbs raise your blood sugar level. The lower GI foods (55 or less) are slowly digested compared to high GI foods (70 or more) which make the blood sugar level rise rapidly. When you eat something that’s high on the GI index your insulin pumps to get rid of the sugar.

The remaining sugar that’s kept in the blood stream gets stored in fat cells causing weight gain. This means that if you eat an apple with the same amount of carbs as a slice of bread, it will be digested differently. It will take a longer time for the apple to be digested, which means the sugar in the apple is slower to go into your bloodstream and won’t cause your insulin to have to work overtime.


Overlooking the sodium in your food can be very dangerous. Most Americans take in about 3,400mg of sodium every day, compared to the recommended 2,300. You should take in about 1,500g of sodium a day if you’re 50 years old or older, and African-American. The “healthy frozen dinners” are guilty of having loads of sodium – if you must have a frozen dinner be sure to check the sodium, because even if the foods don’t seem salty the sodium can still be pretty high.

Having a diet high in sodium is very dangerous because it causes you to have high blood pressure, which can then lead you to heart disease. According to Harvard School of Public Health “there is evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta and kidneys without increasing blood pressure.” Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women. According to the CDC 610,000 people in America die every year from this disease or what many people call the silent killer.


Often in America people eat boxed/bagged processed food with little to no fiber. It is best to get fiber from whole food, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating a diet rich in fiber cleans out your intestines and colon, causing you to have good bowel movements. Without fiber in your diet waste can sit in the intestine and develop pockets causing diverticulitis.

A good fiber diet also can help with your cholesterol. The fiber lowers “bad” cholesterol levels, and also lowers blood pressure levels. Fiber has also been proven to lower blood sugar levels, and prevention of colon and rectal cancer. Being active also lowers you colon cancer risk.

Take-Home Message

We should always use the nutrition labels to our advantage. Remember that the first five ingredients is what the product is mostly made of. Assumption when making a food choice can hurt your diet with hidden items and some of the best food choices do not contain a label, such as whole fruits and vegetables. Eating balanced meals, and cutting out as much processed foods alone will cut your water weight, cut waste weight and lower your risk for other health issues.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Writer and expert

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