Confused by labels like this? Don't really know the difference between some of the categories? This post should help you.
The internet is full of people telling you, what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat and how to eat it.
However, that was never my intention on dancer talks food. I wanted to share healthy recipes and ideas that would make it easy to change or continue a healthy lifestyle, if YOU want to.
This post aims to tell you a little bit more about what the labels on your food mean, and how you can interpret them.
Firstly, I want to say that these guidelines are not rules that I follow strictly and to the letter. I love cake just like anyone else! But I try and stick to them, particularly when food shopping.
The most important thing for me is the ingredient list. If it looks like an essay in another language, you should probably avoid it. I mean things like 'sodium aluminium phosphate'. You don't think that's real? Look it up - it's an additive.
Anyway that is just the sort of thing you should avoid! You should aim to buy food with shorter ingredient lists and definitely ingredients that you have heard of.
For example, a pre-packaged stir-fry could have an ingredient list of 10 items, 9 of which are vegetables. While I would make a stir-fry myself if possible, this sounds like a perfectly reasonable item to have in your fridge for when you are short of time.
So, the ingredient list is definitely my first check on anything I'm about to buy. However, there is something else that more of us think about - the calories.
I think that you have to be very careful where calories are concerned, particularly in relation to counting them. I have never calorie counted in my life, but I know that a lot of people worry about it almost all the time. While it's true that a lot of unhealthy foods have a high calorie count, there are also a lot of unhealthy foods that have relatively low calories. This is generally managed by substituting a LOT of something else - sugar.
Apart from the length and content of the the ingredient list, the part I focus on most is how much sugar there is. As a general rule, I try not to buy anything with over 6g of sugar in 100g. Also, if it is the first or second ingredient listed then it is present in the first or second highest quantities - a.k.a. avoid!
Sweeteners are also something to watch out for, but as always, if you are sensible when shopping you shouldn't have a problem. If a chocolate bar claims not to have added sugar, then you should be a little suspicious. But if good whole foods maybe have a natural sweetener such as honey. then that is probably ok.
Use common sense friends! I hope this post has been helpful, leave any questions below.
Contemporary dance student and food-lover, sharing tips and tricks, recipes and generally random ideas.