A Quick Look at Label Reading

by | May 28, 2019 | Environmental Pillar

Let’s look at two different labels and review how to read them and how to know the better choice for ourselves and our families. 
 
Organic Chickpeas and Puffs are both finger food snacks with very different nutritional values. When reading a food label, remember that the ingredients are listed in order of amount. The largest amounts are written first, down to the ingredients that are in the least amounts. I like to start at the bottom, and on our Puffs, we first see a list of B vitamins. You may think, “Oh wonderful, we are off to a good start! Vitamins!” But that unfortunately is not the case. When we see B vitamins listed like this, it indicates that they are chemical vitamins made in a lab which can be especially problematic for anyone with MTHFR, a common genetic condition that affects the body’s ability to process these synthetic substances. Have you ever seen B12 growing from a tree? Or have you seen B6 sprouting up from the ground? No. B vitamins naturally occur in many foods, and that is the best way to get them into our bodies, not the ones produced in a lab. 
 
I’ve taken the liberty to “translate” the rest of our ingredients for you…
 
Vanilla flavor is likely MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is problematic for healthy brain and nerve function. 
Mixed tocopherols are usually made from sunflower or soybean oil and create inflammation in our bodies. 
Dried apple puree seems innocent enough until we realize that apples are one of the most highly chemically treated crops and most common genetically modified. On top of that, when we make it into a puree, we remove many of the nutritional benefits of apples. Dried apple puree can be better translated as, “GMO sugar.” 
Whole grain oat flour sounds healthy, right? Again, we have a high likelihood of pesticide chemicals, and processing a whole grain only increases its presence as sugar in our bodies. So…more sugar. 
Cane sugar is sugar from sugar cane. It was also probably treated with chemicals. 
Wheat starch could also be called, “GMO gut-damaging sugar,” for short. 
Whole wheat flour also sounds healthy, but it has been heavily sprayed with glyphosate, genetically modified, and the body responds to it as sugar and also something to quickly remove from the system. 
Rice flour is processed rice, which also makes it a sugar. 
 
In summary on the Blueberry Puffs, we could easily just rename these, “Addictive sugar snacks.” If this is a common food that we are feeding to our toddlers, it’s no wonder we are dealing with “terrible twos” and “miserable threes.” Their systems are literally fighting a constant sugar and chemical rush and crash.  
 
Let’s look at another packaged food’s ingredients, Organic Chick Peas…
 
Roasted chickpeas are a great source of protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium…all naturally occurring ingredients in this plant food. 
Organic expeller-pressed oil we want our oils to be organic, and expeller-pressed indicates it was not highly processed using heat, which makes oils damaging to our health. 
Coarse salt we like salt when it is real, which this is. 
 
These are delicious on salads or can be enjoyed as a finger food snack by the small handful. We see significantly fewer ingredients and no need to add synthetic vitamins. It’s all organic and has real food that gives our bodies energy instead of creating work to process. 
 
The puffs are what we call “empty calories,” as they have no nutritional value and harm the brain. They fill us up but do nothing beneficial for our bodies. The chickpeas are what we call “nutrient-dense”. They fill us up and give our bodies nutrients and energy. 
 
As a rule of thumb when reading ingredient labels, if you don’t have the ingredient in your kitchen cabinet and/or haven’t seen it in nature, put it back on the shelf. ​

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