Saturday, August 7, 2010

Read Your Labels!

The great thing about fresh veggies, meat and fruit is that they don't need a nutritional label!

They are what they are - natural food. Here is my favorite tool for finding the nutritional composition of various meats, poultry, veggies and fruits: Nutrition Data.

Now, I know firsthand that sometimes it's just not possible to pick out a bunch of ingredients and throw together a nutritious and healthy meal. Meetings, appointments, kids and all kinds of schedule killers happen. So, you need to have good viable options to toss into the nuker or toaster oven. That's when you need to read your labels!

The easiest thing I can tell you is to look for the one with the FEWEST ingredients. That's just something you can do quickly - give the label a quick eyeball and see what you're getting.

Here's a quick example - I like the occasional b'fast sandwich just like anyone else. But, a sausage patty can have a bunch of things in there that you don't want.

Jimmy Dean's ingredient list reads as such:

What is all that? Food Starch? Flavorings? BH-what? Huh? Oh and that's MSG spelled out for you too (Monosodium Glutamate). MmmmmMmmmm!! O.o

Ok, so let's take a look at an option you can look for at your grocery store (I buy this at Whole Foods).

Wellshire Farms Turkey Maple Sausage Patties' ingredient list reads as such:
Turkey, Maple Syrup, Water, Sea Salt, Spices (including Pepper and Sage), Raw Sugar

See the difference? I didn't even go into the calories, fat or any of the macronutrients. You don't need to care about that (right now). Oh, and in case some of you are going to say "I don't like Turkey patties" (waaaa!) The same brand DOES make pork ones, I just don't choose to buy them. :P

So, not to go into too much detail and overwhelm - read your labels folks! Look for minimal ingredients. If the label actually reads "minimal processing" it's usually a good indicator.

Overall, if you look for brands that strive for quality and in being natural or organic (Kashi, Amy's, Stonyfield, Muir Glen...etc) you'll find convenient AND healthy items to stock your pantry and fridge! Where can you get this stuff? So many places!! I'll post my frequent haunts separately.

No comments:

Post a Comment