Start By Reading the Ingredients
One of the most important things you can do when purchasing groceries is to take the time to turn each product around and read the ingredients carefully. By doing so, you can better understand what you are putting into your body and make more informed decisions about your health.
This simple habit can also help you avoid potentially harmful ingredients, such as preservatives, additives, and artificial sweeteners, many of which have been linked to various health issues. Not only can reading ingredient labels help you improve your overall health and well-being, but it can also help you stay on track with your dietary goals and preferences, such as following a nutrient-dense, gluten-free or plant-based diet.
Don’t pay attention to the front labels; they often sound way better than the food actually is. So, the next time you’re shopping, be sure to flip those products over and read the labels!
When Picking Out Processed Food, Try to Avoid These Ingredients
When purchasing processed foods, it’s important to be mindful of the ingredients listed on the packaging. Here are some ingredients you may want to avoid or limit in your diet:
1. Artificial sweeteners: These include aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. They are commonly found in diet sodas, low-calorie snacks, and sugar-free products. Opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead.
2. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS): This sweetener is commonly used in many processed foods, including sodas, desserts, and condiments. HFCS has been linked to obesity and other health issues. Look for products with natural sweeteners or choose whole foods instead.
3. Trans fats: These fats are often found in fried and processed foods, such as fast food, packaged snacks, and baked goods. Trans fats have been associated with heart disease and should be avoided. Check the ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oils, which indicate the presence of trans fats.
4. Artificial flavors and colors: Many processed foods contain artificial flavors and colors to enhance their appearance and taste. These additives can have negative effects on your health. Opt for products without artificial additives or choose whole, unprocessed foods.
5. Sodium nitrite/nitrate: These preservatives are commonly used in processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats. They have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. Look for nitrite/nitrate-free options or limit your consumption of processed meats.
6. MSG (Monosodium glutamate): It is a flavor enhancer that is commonly added to processed foods, such as soups, snacks, and seasonings. Some people may experience adverse reactions to MSG, including headaches and allergic reactions. Check for products labeled “no MSG” or choose whole food alternatives.
Remember, the best way to avoid these unwanted ingredients is to focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Our Good-Better-Best whole foods list.
Additional information on how to understand and use the Food Lable is available from the US Food & Drug Administration.
At Quintana Wellness, the nutritional therapy process is not your typical dietician or medical visit. It is a stand-alone therapy, or it may be combined with behavioral health care for a whole-body approach to healthy living. Our holistic approach to health and wellness includes using food and dietary interventions to promote optimal health and prevent or manage various health conditions. It is based on the principle that our diet and nutritional status significantly impact our overall well-being. It is important to note that while nutritional therapy can be a valuable complement to conventional medical treatment, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.