What every shopper should know about reading ingredients?

February 24, 2016

Reading Ingredients

It is very important to understand how to read ingredient labels, because it is the best way to know exactly what you are putting in your body. My rule of thumb is,

 “If a product has ingredients that you can’t pronounce don’t buy it!”

It is important to choose products that contain whole foods and not processed foods. The number of ingredients is also very important, because the more ingredients listed means the more it has been highly processed. Try to look for products with 5 or less ingredients. The first ingredient listed is what the product is mostly composed of. When shopping for food products don’t be fooled by what’s on the front of the package, the ingredients list will tell you what is in the product.  As you become more familiar with reading labels try to avoid the following items:

  • Artificial Dyes (Red, Yellow etc)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal etc)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Diet Foods (Foods labeled with diet)
  • Flavor Enhancers or Preservatives (Maltodextrin, Nitrates/Nitrates or MSG)


Here is a great resource that you can use in the grocery store:

  • Fooducate-  is an iPhone App that can be used to scan products and see how they are graded based on their contents. It is graded is based on foods that have very little processed ingredients and a higher content of real foods. Give this app a try next time you’re in the supermarket.


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