Labeling on food products can be very confusing. Especially when words are multi-syllable and definitely not multi-pleasuring to your body! What do these food labels mean? Claims of no sugar, but instead filled with artificial sugars. Which by the way, are WAY worse! I’m shocked fat free still has legs past the 90’s because our bodies need these good healthy fats. And when fats taken out of a product, what do you think they replace it with to add flavor? Ding, ding, ding! Yup! More damn sugar! I always tell clients it is more important to read the ingredient list first over the nutrition label. You want to know what makes up those numbers on the list. What are you really workin’ with?
Here are my top 5 ingredients to stay the heck away from! Eat like your life depends on it…because, well, it does.
1) Hydrogenated oils. The process in which oils go through to become hydrogenated is long, highly manufactured and unnatural. This alters the chemical composition turning those hydrogenated oils into trans fats in our bodies. You might be asking yourself, “Self, why does trans fats sound familiar?” Well, because they are so damaging to our health they’ve been banned! Choose instead heart, skin and brain healthy oils like Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil. Get creative with salad dressing and tag in new oil friends such as walnut, flax and hemp oil.
2) High Fructose Corn Syrup. Run! Run fast away from any product containing HFCS. For one, it’s made from corn, which is one of the top GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods on the market! This massively altered sugar has a difficult time metabolizing through our bodies causing weight gain, mental disruption and a host of illnesses.
Sweeten with nature’s sweethearts; raw honey, maple syrup dates and coconut sugar.
3) Artificial Colors. Sadly, this additive isn’t only in our food but also items like mouthwash, cough drops, drinks and more. I know, WTF?! When you see Blue Lake, Red 40 and other names that don’t sound like a food product from nature- say a big hell no! Food coloring has been linked to hyperactivity in children, headaches, and more. Color should come from beautiful vibrant fruits, veggies, herbs and spices. Those colors then shine through you in your hair, skin, nails and attitude.
4) Artificial Flavors or Natural Flavors. Why would anyone want a flavor that is artificial? Artificial anything is something I stay away from. Give me the real, legit version always. Ya feel me?! Oh, and by the way, natural flavors is anything but flavors that are natural. They are synthetic solvents or preservatives that companies claim are natural and the FDA just let’s it slide. Not cool FDA! Over 100 ingredients may be hiding behind the words, “natural flavors.” It’s like a big game of hide and seek with chemicals, toxins and flavors that come from a factory. These “natural flavors” are manufactured to make you crave more because they are made in a lab and surprise, we are the lab rats being tested on.
Get off the wheel and vote with your dollars. Buy products that are truly natural.
5) Carrageenan. Carra-what?! The food industry uses this seaweed derived product as a thickener or gel like adhesive. However, the amount of processing that it goes through before being added to our food makes it one to BIG TIME stay away from. Carrageenan is in a lot of products; yogurt, non-dairy milks, creamers, ice-cream, even toothpaste and dog food! Stay away because this c-word causes massive inflammation in our bodies. Why is inflammation so bad? Well, that’s the foundation where all disease thrives. And for my next point, welcome back the rats. When scientists are testing products that reduce inflammation and need to inflame these poor rodents… what do you think they feed them? Good guess my friend, carrageenan. I love all animals so hearing this bothers me. Sending love and zero inflammatory treats to my two pet rats that are no longer with me, Lina and Bubba.
Ideally eating as close to Mother Nature’s teet is ideal, but not always feasible. I get it! I do love me some healthy grab and go options too! Just check out the backside and make sure you’re getting the real thing!
Read those nutrition labels and know consuming all the above junk leads your body to list off the same crap. You want your body to read clean and shine radiantly.
Any ingredients surprise you? I’d love to hear. Tweet me or gimme a shout on facebook here: Jill Anenberg Lawrence