The Importance of Labels

by Jason Brennan | August 21st, 2013 | Fitness Expert

nutrition labelEverybody these days looks for healthier and lower calorie food options. Almost every food company is trying to sell you the “healthier “option.  Over the years I noticed that people who try to sell you something will say almost anything they can in order to get you to buy it, no matter what it is.

The packaging is what helps sell the product.  You see it mostly in snacks and desserts.  If something is low carb, it probably is high in fat, and if low fat, it might be high in sugar. If it’s low fat and low sugar, it probably doesn’t taste very good or is filled with a bunch of added chemicals (fake sugar).  Artificial sweeteners do negatively affect how your body looks and feels.

Other things you need to remember about nutrition and calorie control is healthy doesn’t mean low calorie and low calorie doesn’t mean healthy. If something is healthy, it is nutritionally valuable, and it has a lot of good things your body can use to survive.  Peanut butter, olive oil, and cheese are good examples of foods with a lot of good nutrition to offer, but they are far from low calorie.   On the other side, sugar free jello and popsicles, low calorie bread, and diet soda or low carb beer all have less calories than 60 calories – but nothing your body can use.

Serving size.  A serving size for whom?  A serving size is not the amount you are supposed to eat; it is so you have something that you can reference the calories to.  In fact, sometimes the food manufacturer will advertise “only 90 calories per serving,” and when you read the nutrition label, you find out 90 calories is only half of the package they come in or only a portion of what you would normally eat.  And with zero calorie cooking spray, a serving size is a 1/3 second spray, after that 1/3 second spray you are adding calories.

Extra stuff.  Aside from calories, look at the list of ingredients; if there is a long list of stuff you’ve never heard of, probably not a good choice.  The fewer ingredients the better.

The best nutritional advice I can give is read the nutrition labels on everything you buy.  Eat as natural as you can.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.