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  • Writer's pictureRobin Rhine McDonald

Reading Packaged Food Labels 101

Last week I mentioned how I am going Live every day on Facebook for the month of July. I did two videos this past week on label reading. Reading labels, unfortunately can be a bit confusing and overwhelming. This post is meant to break it down to a few simple tips when reading packaged food labels. I'll do another post on meat and produce in a later blog.

Here are the top questions to ask:

What are the macro nutrient portions in this?

Generally, you want to look for lower carb and moderate to high protein and fat. It's important to see where the carbs are coming from. Is it from sugar? Fiber? Fruit? Grains? I recommend avoiding grains and added sugar. Carbs from fiber is not a bad thing. Most people are deficient in fiber.

What are the ingredients?

You don't have to know what different ingredients mean to be able to tell whether or not the food is healthy. Ask yourself, do these seem like recognizable simple ingredients? If not, it's likely over processed. Some sneaky, unhealthy ingredients are high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and canola oil (or any vegetable oil other than coconut oil or avocado oil).

Is this quality?

Food companies try all sorts of tactics to make their food seem healthier than it is. This is called "green boxing". Some important labels that you WANT to see are:

  • Organic

  • Non-GMO

  • Paleo friendly

  • Whole30 approved

  • No added sugar

Labels you don't want to be tricked by are:

  • All natural

  • Fat free

  • Sugar free

  • Heart healthy

  • Made with whole grains

  • Made with REAL (insert food)

Below is a snippet from my Instagram story highlight that includes a whole series of photos that I did on reading food labels. Follow me @robin_rhinemcd to see more! Also, don't forget - you can check out the two videos I did on my Facebook this last week as well!

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