We all do our best to eat well, but do you really know how healthy the food is that you are eating?
The eat clean movement has been around for years, however it really isn’t a movement when you consider this is the way our grandparents or great grandparent ate. Food that came from the farm and prepared in your kitchen, it’s that simple.
Simple if you like to cook and feel inspired by the challenging question we face multiple times every day – “what should I eat”. Simple if you have the time to cook and bake from scratch, I know I don’t.
So how do we solve this issue? Reading and understanding labels is the first step in eating …cleaner. Knowing the ingredients and what the nutritional breakdown and benefits will help in making the best choice when buying packaged food. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients, you probably should not buy it. The ingredients list is in order of quantity, most to least. If sugar is the first ingredient, probably not a great choice.
So let’s break down the Nutrition Facts on the nutrition label above:
- 1. Are you eating more or less than the serving size? If you are watching the calories you are consuming, this is very important.
- 2. Calories are the amount of energy in food. Your body uses calories to do all your daily activities – from walking to talking to sleeping. The challenge is to eat enough calories to provide your body with the energy it needs, but more than it can burn.
- 3. Watch for high % of calories coming from fat, eat sparingly.
- 4. Not all fat is created equal, limit trans and polysaturates fat. Aim for foods high in monosaturates fats.
- 5.Identifies cholesterolraising fats only; look for hydronated oils in the ingreditents.
- 6. Total Daily Value of sodium should be less than 2,400mg. 5% DV is low sodium 20% of DV is High sodium.
- 7. Watch the ratio of total carbs to sugars. The closer the grams of sugar is to the total carbohydrates in each serving, the closer the food gets to junk quality.
- 8. Sugar can provide instant energy, but eating too much can be unhealthy.
- 9. Recommended DV typically ranges from 50-75g for protein.
- 10. Calorie counting equation: Fat(g) x 3 + Carb (g) x 4 + Protien (g) x4 = Total Calories
- This label: (9g x 3) + (4g x 4) + (4g x 4) = 59
So the moral of this story; try to eat food you prepare from scratch at home as much as possible. When that is not possible, read the labels, check out the ingredients and make the best choice possible. I always ask myself, is this the best choice for my body. Honestly, sometimes a chocolate brownie is the ONLY choice 😉
Have a great week ladies and make good choices!