Reading Ingredient Labels – When To Leave Items On The Shelf
Every time I walk into the grocery store I’m shocked at the length of the ingredient list on some products. I usually like to avoid these products and shop only the perimeter of the grocery store, but sometimes I need to venture into the inner aisles for some extras. It amazes me that something such as jar of jam, salad dressing or peanut butter can have 10 ingredients plus on it’s nutrition label!!
When to Leave Items on the Shelf
1. If the ingredient list has more than 6 ingredients leave it on the shelf.
2. If you are unable to pronounce more than 1 or 2 of the ingredients leave it on the shelf.
3. Buy products that list the key ingredient as the first ingredient on the label. For example, if you are buying strawberry jam make sure that strawberries are listed as the first ingredient, not sugar.
4. If it has high fructose corn syrup leave it on the shelf.
5. Ask yourself “does sugar really need to be on this list?” Foods like bread, pickles and coconut milk don’t need sugar.
6. If you pick up a jar of peanut butter, jam or salad dressing and you see it has too much sugar or some ingredients you don’t recognize check out a few other brands. There are usually healthier choices available.
7. Last but not least, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just being aware of the ingredients and having a quick look at the list is already a step in the right direction.
Dr. Kristy Vermeulen, Naturopathic Doctor San Francisco