Have you ever paused to think to turn over the food items that you're purchasing at the grocery store? On the back of every packaged food item that you buy there is an ingredient list and a nutrition facts label that make up the nutrition information. Let's dive into what each of these are telling you and where you can find them. If you missed this one in our weekly newsletter, subscribe below to stay in the know!
Did you know there was more to the nutrition label than just the black and white box of gibberish? So there’s more gibberish? Well…yeah, but let’s debunk this. There are 2 parts to the nutrition label, the ingredient list & the nutrition facts. This list is found directly below the nutrition facts label and includes a list of ingredients that are also in the product (aside from the obvious). This is where the fun starts. Before we dive in, did you even know this existed? This is sometimes the BEST & EASIEST way to identify if a product is something you would consider “healthy for me” or “not healthy for me”, simply from this list alone. This list shares all the secrets that the manufacturer may be trying to hide from you. Think: added syrups, dyes, gums, & other processed chemicals you can’t pronounce. Now, not every food manufacturer is out to get you. However, it is your job to navigate the ingredient list and understand what is going into your body: healthy or not. This is the part where you start taking notes: The ingredient list is noted in descending order of prevalence, meaning that the first item listed has the highest contents in the product, comparatively to the last item listed & so on. So if you’re reading the ingredients list & see a laundry list of contents, you will be able to take a quick skim and see which items you know and which leave you with a headache trying to understand how those are in this product. At the end of the day, we’d like to strive to consume minimally processed, whole foods with simple and few ingredients. To put this in perspective, think about how fresh fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and potatoes don’t have ingredients labels. Why? Because they are what they are, what you see is what you get.
TRY THIS IRL (in real life): Next time you are at the grocery store, pick 3 items on your list to pause and read the ingredients label. Then, check and alternative for the same product. Compare 2 or 3 options until you find a healthier alternative based on the ingredient list alone! This will do wonders for your nutrition education as well as your body!
I dive deeper into ingredient lists & nutrition labels and how they work together to paint the entire picture of what you're missing every single day in my 60 day nutrition program, BITES. BITES is a comprehensive group coaching program with 1:1 & community support, progress tracking & accountability, as well as step by step guidance to support cultivating a lifestyle nutritional regimen. Learn more and how to apply below!