We are constantly bombarded with news about how unhealthy the American diet has become and most of them know that they need to make some changes in their lifestyle. But where do we start?
A good place to begin is by learning about what is in the foods we currently purchase and see how effective these items are through Leanbean Reviews. Next time you head to the grocery store, take a look at the label before you toss that package in your grocery cart. Don’t be fooled by claims such as “healthy” or “low-fat” on the front of the package. Check the nutrition label to make sure that these claims are true.
What the nutrition label tells you
The first thing to be aware of when reading a nutrition label is the serving size. In an effort to make the food appear more healthy by being lower in fat or calories, food companies will sometimes list an extremely small portion size. So be aware of what they are calling a portion size.
The next thing listed on the nutrition label after the serving size is the calorie amount and the “% Daily Value” column. The “% Daily Value” is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. You may need to make adjustments if your calorie intake is more or less than 2000 calories per day. An ingredient is considered low if it is 5% or less and high if it is 20% or more.
Underneath the calorie, the section is the fat content section. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats and trans fats. Try to keep your cholesterol intake to under 300 mg per day. Below the fat content section is the information on carbohydrates, fiber, and sugars. Try to reduce your consumption of added sugars. These can be listed as glucose, sucrose, or fructose. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a healthy sweet such as grapes, apples, and strawberries.
On juice containers check to see how much real juice they actually contain. Some juices only contain 10% juice, the rest is sugar and water. Select products that contain 100% juice. When choosing bread, look for those that contain 100% whole wheat. If the first ingredients listed are “unbleached wheat flour,” or “unbleached enriched wheat flour” then it is not whole wheat.
What to look for
Try to choose foods that have 5 g or more of fiber per serving. Fiber can help with digestion and regularity. It can also help to lower the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. A high fiber diet can also help with weight control, because the fiber helps one to feel fuller, more quickly. Choose foods that have high levels of healthy vitamins and minerals. Look for high levels of iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
Ingredients on the package will be listed in order. The ingredient in the greatest amount will be listed first and the smallest ingredient will be listed last. Avoid those foods that list enriched ingredients or sugars first.
By paying attention to what we buy at the grocery store and learning to read labels, we can all take an important step towards a healthier life.