What to avoid when reading labels at the grocery store

food-label-comic1

Eating healthy involves a lot more than just looking at the fat and calorie content on the label of the food you are eating.  I actually don’t look at those two numbers at all.  I don’t care if a food is high in fat and calories as long as it is good fat and calories.  What is more important are the ingredients.

Obviously, you want to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, and beans,  but for the times you are buying foods in boxes, bags, and cans, you want to read the labels carefully.

Hydrogenated Oil, known as trans fat can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney failure.  It is found in almost all chips, cookies, cakes, margarine, microwave popcorn, pastries, and pies.  A healthy alternative is virgin olive oil or other monosaturated fats.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is an artificial flavor enhancer found in chips, crackers, canned soups, frozen foods, and salad dressings.  This one is hard to see at times because it gets disguised as “spices,” “natural flavoring,” and “seasoning.”

Aspartame (and Acesulfame-K) which are artificial sweeteners (sold under NutraSweet and Equal), can cause food poisoning and leads to many physical complaints including headaches, digestive problems, change in mood, and some have linked it to more serious health issues such as, ADHD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lupus, MS, and Cancer.  Use Stevia, agave syrup, raw maple syrup or fruits to sweeten your food instead.

Sodium Nitrate (Nitrite) is a food preservative whose chemical component contains carcinogens that can lead to stomach, prostate, and breast cancers.  It is also linked to fetal deaths, miscarriages, and birth defects in laboratory animals.

Propyl Gallate is found in chicken soup, gum, and processed meat products.  It is suspected to be a carcinogen which leads to cancer.  It is found to cause gastrointestinal, kidney, and liver problems.

Food Colorings 1, 2, 3, and 6 which are blue, red, green, and yellow.  They are used in candy, baked goods, beverages, fruit cocktail and cherries, gelatin, and sausage.  They cause tumors in your body!  Especially in the kidneys and adrenal glands.

Potassium Bromate is a bleaching agent in white flour.  Anything from pizza dough to bread, rolls, and wraps can have it.  It has been found to cause cancer in animals and humans.  Use un-bromated flour.  Better yet, don’t eat anything made with white flour :)

High Fructose Corn Syrup found in too many foods to list but especially in breads, yogurt, frozen pizza, cereal bars, boxed macaroni and cheese, salad dressing, canned fruit, pasta sauces, soups, ketchup, cereals, and applesauce.  This cheap sweetener has been linked to obesity, learning and memory problems, high blood pressure, and contains toxic mercury levels.

Olestra or Olean is an artificial fat found in potato chips that can cause diarrhea, intestinal problems and other gastrointestinal problems.  It causes problems because it blocks the absorption of healthy fat in the digestive system.

Unhealthy Corn Chips Label

Is this really what you want to put in your body?

-Kristen
Choosing healthy living over dying :)

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3 thoughts on “What to avoid when reading labels at the grocery store

  1. I always look for the packages with the least amount of ingredients and never buy food which contains something I can’t read or have never heard of. Some of these things aren’t found in food in the UK but there is still so much people don’t need to be consuming that cause all the issues listed.

  2. We’ve moved to avoiding most things with a label. If we do buy something with a label, it should be made up of one-ingredient foods. So, on a package of rice, I like to see: Rice. On a package of bread, I like to see: sprouted rice, sprouted wheatberries, certified organic brown sugar. Not that I like sugar in my bread, but you get the idea. I stay away from food coloring and high fructose corn syrup definitely, hydrogenated oils. Anything that isn’t naturally occurring, pretty much. Great post!

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