Don’t Assume. Read Your Labels.

May 24, 2008 at 2:09 am Leave a comment

We’ve all fallen for ‘em: “healthy” foods that really aren’t healthy at all. Shine.com just posted an article listing 6 “diet busting” foods that sound like they’re good for you but may not be, including:

  • Energy Bars
  • Granola
  • Salads
  • Smoothies
  • Sushi Rolls
  • Yogurts

I’ve learned the value of label-reading over the years, starting with when my ex-husband was first diagnosed with Diabetes. I discovered that sugar is hidden in everything! I only discovered this somewhat scary fact by reading the labels carefully… from the nutrition stats to the list of ingredients. It’s a practice that has served me well during my lifestyle change. In fact, I don’t think I would have done as well dropping weight if I hadn’t had labels to keep me aware and informed.

The fact is, you can’t assume any food is “healthy” or “bad”. Even within food types, there can be a huge variation in calories, fat, fiber, sugar/carbs, and protein. Some yogurt brands have nearly 200 calories while others are as low as 60. A smoothie may be very healthy because it’s made with top-notch, organic ingredients, but it can still max out your calorie count for the day, no matter the quality of those calories. Conversely, a food generally considered “bad” can actually be nutritious. A can of SpaghettiOs, for instance, is a good source of Vitamin A, B vitamins and iron. The can’s modest 360 calories have only 2g of fat and deliver 6g of fiber and 12g of protein.

My recommendation? Evaluate each item on its own merits. Understand your options and read your labels. Do that, and you won’t have to worry.

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Entry filed under: food review, tips & techniques. Tags: .

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