CHERYL A. MAJOR: What to Look for on Food Labels

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I’m always trying to make the process of learning to eat healthfully faster and easier for those around me.  What to look for on food labels is very important, so today, I want to share with you the three most important things to look for whenever you buy packaged food..

You do not want to pay attention to the front of the package. That is for advertising and marketing, and they do not need to tell the truth there.  The place where they mostly need to tell the truth is is on the back of the package. The first thing you want to look for is the ingredient list. You want to notice how long that list is. The optimal number of ingredients is no more than five. You also want to look to see if any of the ingredients are things you could never pronounce and probably are chemical in nature.

Second, you want to look at the size of the portion indicated on the back of the package. Very often, in order to make the numbers look good… Amount of sugar per serving, amount of fat per serving, amount of salt per serving and so on, they will make it will indicate a ridiculously small portion size. For example, with Oreo cream sandwich cookies, the portion size is three  Oreo cookies. If I were in the mood to eat Oreos oh, I promise you I would not be eating three. I would be eating 6 or 9 or maybe an entire sleeve dot-dot. How about you? Do you think you would eat three? Be suspicious and be sure to check the serving size.

Third on a Hit Parade list is to check the list of ingredients to see if there are any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. These are trans fats that are bad for your cardiovascular health among other things. They will be listed as partially hydrogenated soybean oil partially hydrogenated corn oil and so on.

Additionally, don’t be fooled into thinking canola oil is healthy. It is not. There is no such thing as a canola plant.  Canola stands for “Canada oil” because most of it is produced in Canada.  Canola is really rapeseed oil which needed a name adjustment for obvious reasons. Rapeseed is a member of the mustard family and is now mostly GMO (genetically modified) courtesy of Monsanto.

I believe in small steps for big changes, and if you put these three suggestions in your food buying arsenal, you know what to look for on food labels and will be well on your way to smarter, healthier packaged food purchasing.

This article was originally posted on my blog at:

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!    

Cheryl A Major

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog   Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience. 

Her new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which she chronicles her recovery from depression is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!   



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