Do you really know what is healthy food?
We all try and stick to choosing healthy items when grocery shopping or eating out, but how well do we really know our foods? Discover how to find out about reading between the lines, what to look out for in labels and how to dine out healthily.
When shopping in your local supermarket, it’s very easy to be attracted to colorful aisles filled with crisps and chocolates. It can sometimes take a lot of will power to resist grabbing a few treats…especially if you are food shopping on an empty stomach!
So the logical choice is to head for the aisles that sell ‘healthy’ food. But how genuinely healthy is the food that you are buying? It looks healthy, it sounds healthy, but you may actually find that it contains ‘hidden’ fats, salts and sugars. In short, anything BUT healthy!
Fat free? Sugar free? Calorie free? Gluten free? Peanut Free?
Phrases such as ‘fat free’ and sugar free’ sound great in theory, but a closer inspection may be needed. A claim such as ‘fat free’ usually means that in order for the item to be ‘fat free’, something else has to be added to make it taste edible.
So check the label at the back to see what has been added to make up for the lack of fat. The product could be significantly high in sugar, and so, even if the product is fat free, it will probably be packed full of calories. The same goes for products boasting a low number of calories or no sugar at all. Again, check the back label because the fat content may be very high.
Also check to see whether the nutritional information relates to the portion size or if it’s per 100g. When cooking a meal, think in terms of portion size to get a better idea of how much fat and calories each person will really be consuming.
If you have Celiac or a gluten intolerance, or just want to eat gluten free- checking labels IS CRUCIAL. You typically need to find a stamp that sales it is Gluten Free by the Celiac Association. Without this stamp or stating it is gluten free- there is a concern for cross contamination.
This goes with nut allergies as well. Be sure to check labels and see what it says because a peanut allergy can be a matter of life or death. Even a small amount from cross contamination can be fatal.
Read read read!
Labels are there for a reason so familiarize yourselves with them and know what to look for.