What to look for when READing Food Labels

If you are trying to loss or maintain a healthy weight, it is important not to skip meals and include healthy snacks into your day to maintain keep your metabolism reved up. The content of your snacks and small meals is importance.

Watch out for added sugar. Sugar is the biggest problem when it comes to packaged meals and snacks, and so this needs to be the number one nutrient that you check. Your meals and snacks should contain very little, or zero, added sugars. Read the lables. Many ‘health’ food items like protein bars, jerky, dried fruit, green juice, and trail mix often have added sugars and preservatives that you need to watch out for and avoid.Your snacks should have little to zero added sugars, and should be a nice blend of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Check the serving size. When your snack comes in a package, after you make sure that it isn’t filled with sugar, check the serving size. It’s a popular technique for food manufacturers to give the nutritional facts for 2 or even 2.5 servings, on an item that you will likely polish off the entire package. If the servings are more than just one then you’ll need to do some quick math. Calculate the total calories, sugar, carbs, fat and protein. Make sure that the numbers line up with your target nutrition goals for that meal or snack.

Homemade and made-in-nature are best. As convenient as packaged health snacks are, you will always see better results by eating whole foods found in nature, or snacks that you’ve made at home with real food ingredients. Even the healthiest packaged protein bar from the store is going to contain preservatives and additives that are completely avoided in homemade foods. A handful of raw nuts, a piece of fruit with fresh nut butter, a hard boiled egg, some chicken breast on veggies or chopped steak on a salad are all better options than any packaged snack.

ALWAYS READ the ingredient list and the nutrition label. 

Are you participating in a consistent, challenging exercise program? If not lets get you started. Reach out to me today with your fitness and nutrition goals and what you maybe struggling with.

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