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Are You Making These Label Reading Mistakes?

By Sara Butler

Good nutrition seems like a rather simple concept. If you eat foods that aren't processed and more natural, fill your plate with all the colors of the rainbow, and only indulge every once in a while, then you're probably off to a good start. Well, unless you're making a few simple label reading mistakes, that is.

Food labels can be difficult to understand. And while the Food and Drug Administration has tried hard to make it a little easier to follow, people are still making the same basic mistakes when it comes to reviewing what's in their food before they buy or eat it. Here are a few of the most common label reading mistakes you should be on the lookout for.

Mistake No. 1: Overlooking Added Sugars

Added sugars are soon to be specified on food labels in a separate place than the total sugars in a product.

Added sugars are things such as concentrated vegetable or fruit juice, honey, or syrups such as high fructose corn syrup. When you eat too many of these sugars, then it causes a spike in your daily caloric intake that is not healthy for your diet. So, make sure to try to spot added sugars on labels now and definitely take a look in January 2020 when you won't be able to miss it on food labels.

Mistake No. 2: Putting Too Much Focus on Fat

It's important to understand that not all fats are created equal. You shouldn't place too much focus on the calories from fat in a product, but rather the type of fat you're eating instead. You should eat plenty of healthy fats in your diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids. These fats help to protect your brain and heart while also providing anti-inflammatory effects on your body.

Mistake No. 3: Assuming Sugar-Free is a Free Pass

Many people equate sugar with carbohydrates. While that is true, sugar is a highly refined carbohydrate that wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, just because something says it's sugar-free doesn't mean that it's free from carbohydrates too.

You're far better off having a controlled portion of something with sugar, such as a cookie, than its sugar-free counterpart -- which has almost as many carbohydrates in it anyway.

It's important to understand what food labels are trying to tell you. Make sure you have a grasp on nutritional labels so you can ensure you're choosing foods best for your health and wellness. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Snellville, Ga.

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