So, here’s the scenario: you’ve just got home from a huge exhausting day of work, haven’t grocery shopped in a week and need to go stock up’ with food as quickly as humanly possible so you can get home, eat and have some time left to relax/exercise/etc.

A Typical Busy Woman’s Trip to the Grocery Store

You race around the supermarket, throwing in items that seem to be capable of potentially make a meal, trying to pick healthy options without ever looking too hard at the ingredients. SOUND FAMILIAR?? Before I learned how to read food labels efficiently and shop successfully for healthy food under time pressure this was me too.

Label Reading Crash Course

Learning how to read a food label is a very important skill when shopping in a modern supermarket, where eating healthily is like walking through a field full of land mines!  Avoiding foods with ingredients that you can’t pronounce is a good start in learning how to read a food label.  But food companies are super sneaky when it comes to labelling products to make them sound healthier than they are!  If the product isn’t labelled, for example deli items, be suspicious!

There are many other bad ingredients to watch out for but these are the top 6 to get you on the way to being a good food detective.
Avoid buying food that have these things in the ingredient list on the label:
  1. MSG (Mono sodium glutamate)
  2. High fructose corn syrup, glucose-fructose
  3. Margarine
  4. Aspartame or other artificial sweeteners (STEVIA IS OK AND actually good for you)
  5. Evaporated cane juice in first 3 ingredients (because this means that SUGAR is the 3rd ingredient and therefore is LOADED with it!)
  6. Wheat flour . In everything I know & hard to avoid but high on the GI index, zero nutritional value and the cause of food cravings and food intolerances for many, many people.
Also be careful that you aren’t ‘duped’ by false advertising.  For example, ‘All Natural’ doesn’t mean that product is healthy–this is marketing jargon!  Another favourite marketing ploy is to put ‘Cholesterol Free’ on a label for a food that NATURALLY contains NO CHOLESTEROL anyways (for example, canola oil) BUT that still doesn’t make it a ‘good fat’.
Canola Oil is Inflammatory and should be avoided or minimized.  For cooking, coconut oil (virgin) or sesame oil should be used for high heats, and virgin olive oil for salads and low heats/marinades.

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