Ingredients Labels

Ingredients: Look for all natural ingredients and avoid ones that sound like a chemical equation. Avoid “high fructose corn syrup,” “refined flour,” artificial sweeteners, and hydrogenated oils. The less ingredients listed, the better

People often don’t understand the ingredients list on the bottom of food labels. We all need to take a closer look at the ingredients listed, because Americans are getting unhealthier by the day and food companies are putting things in the food you eat that is causing the current obesity epidemic. You should be looking for natural ingredient names that don’t sound like a chemistry equation. The first ingredient stated on the ingredient list of a food label composes the largest percentage of the food and so on. Here are some terms that you should absolutely avoid whenever possible:

1. High fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, dextrose – these are chemically-synthetic sugars that are a reason for many health problem in the world today and many nutrition experts and physicians think that they’re one of the major reasons for today’s obesity epidemic, as it blocks or inhibits leptin secretion and doesn’t allow ghrelin to shut off.  Leptin tells the brain you are “full”, and ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and increases appetite.

2. White Flour, Enriched Flour, Bleached White Flour, Wheat Flour* – these are “refined” carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels and increase triglycerides (fats) in the blood, which puts you at a very high risk for many conditions such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

*Note that “Wheat Flour” is on the list. Isn’t wheat flour healthy, you may be asking? Not so much – this is a way food manufacturers get you to believe you are eating healthy. A food product might have just .1% whole wheat flour and the food company will call it wheat flour. Look for “whole wheat: or “whole grain” listed as the first ingredient on the food label.

3. Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Phenylalkaline – these are fake sugars (artificial sweeteners) and not much is known about them. A few research studies have said that they may cause cancer but we really don’t know much about them. Still, if there’s a chance that they cause cancer, it’s probably best to avoid them.

4. Partially Hydrogenated or Hydrogenated Oil – also known as “trans fats.” These are the probably the worst thing you can possibly eat. Avoid eating anything with trans fats. These oils are one molecule away from being plastic and can damage your heart. 

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