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How to read food labels

How to read ingredient labels

This is an excellent post from @healthformation__ on how to read food labels

Although in an ideal world we'd all eat whole unprocessed food 100% of the time, in reality with busy lives that's not always possible!!

Yet very often foods labelled 'healthy' are anything but - there is actually no regulation on what can be called 'healthy' or 'natural'

So the best approach is to learn how to interpret and read food labels, so when you need to buy food in a packet, you can make the best choices

Hidden sugar and processed vege oils are the two I look for, as well as fibre and protein content

Aim for foods with a higher % DV (daily value) of fibre (less than 5% is low, above 20% is high), and food with less than 5% DV of added sugar

Also look at whether grains are whole (ie wholewheat flour, brown rice) vs refined (white flour, also called wheat flour, also white rice and white rice flour)

Things like rice crackers are often marketed as a healthy snack, when in reality they are highly refined carbohydrates!!

If you are buying crackers try find ones made from mostly brown rice or whole wheat /whole grains

Wholemeal pasta is a great alternative to normal pasta

For cereals, check the added sugar - it's surprisingly high in many 'healthy' cereals

Ideally added sugar should be minimal, and try find foods with the shortest ingredient list - the more added preservative, sugar, flavouring, and colour, the more highly processed a food will be

Out of all of these, added sugar is probably the most important - it's hidden in so many foods, and has been linked to a huge number of chronic health issues (added fructose or corn syrup is one of the worst)

Supermarkets can be confusing - try shop around the edges (ie where the fresh food is kept), and spend some time reading labels when you can - then you can find out which are the healthiest options forwhen you need a quick meal!

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