What Does Healthy Look Like to You?

by - August 01, 2017


This Tuesday I'm back to talking about food labels. 
I'd like to share a little knowledge about food ingredient labels and a food ingredient I avoid the most (other than salt and sugar).  As you know the ingredient list is located beneath the nutrition information on a food package like the picture below.  The ingredients are listed from highest content to least content.  Meaning this label has a high amount of wheat flour and a very small amount of guar gum.


Many food ingredients lists have several items that are long, funny sounding words or contain words that many people don't know the meaning of.  I try to stay away from these words.  If there are too many words on a food ingredient list that I can not pronounce or understand the meaning of I don't purchase that food item.  Below is a photo of a food ingredient list I would take one look at and then put back on the shelf in the grocery store



An extremely common ingredient that I avoid and suggest avoiding is 'Artificial Flavors'.  Could this ingredient not be more vague?  It drives me nuts.  When I read this I think to myself these are obviously fake flavors and wonder to myself what are these fake flavors made of?  Because of the regulations of the FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration) a food item can put 'artificial flavors' on a label and not divulge what the 'artificial flavor' is made of.  I have read many articles stating that 'artificial flavors' are chemicals or derive from chemicals and have no nutritional value, like this one.  I have also read articles siting studies that prove that artificial flavors can be detrimental to ones health, so I try and stay away from them.  I am not sating that I know that 'artificial flavors' are for a FACT unhealthy, what I am saying is that since I'm not quite sure what they are made of  I prefer not to put them in my body on a daily basis.  Of course some BBQ potato chips on a Friday night once ever two weeks, with 'artificial flavors' is bound to happen but everything in moderation.  A lot of similar points can be made about 'Artificial Colors' as well.  Here are some more articles about 'artificial flavors' in case this my post has peeked your interest;
Serious Eats
Forbes
Boston

Thank you for reading!






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