The five-step food label guide

  1. Avoid foods that have labels. Foods that come in their natural packaging like fresh vegetables and fruits are much healthier than anything that has been produced and packaged by the food industry. But if you buy a packaged food take the time to read the label.
  2. If sugar or corn sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, or any sugar is in the list do not buy the product. Here is a list of sugar names commonly found on product labels.
  3. Check out the amount of salt in the product. Often packaged foods come loaded with salt as it preserves shelf-life. It is recommended to eat less than 1,500 mg daily ( 1/2 level teaspoon), and the less salt consumed the better. Most of the salt we eat comes hidden in processed foods. Another reason to avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  4. Look for fiber. Most naturally packaged foods come with their own fiber, but processed foods tend to have the fiber removed. Buy wholegrain products exclusively. Women are recommended to eat 20g fiber per day, men 30g.
  5. Avoid all trans fats (partially hydrogenated oil). Look for saturated fats, they are animal fats, and some plant oils (coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil). They are solid at room temperature. It is recommended to keep saturated fats to less than 7 percent of your daily calorie intake. Basically, use them sparingly and whenever possible substitute olive oil or canola oil.

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