Whether you are hoping to eat better because you need to lose some weight, or because you just want to get healthier and keep your body in tip-top shape as you get older, reading food labels when shopping for groceries is a necessary step. And, as you read those labels, looking for problem ingredients is also necessary.
What are some of the problem ingredients to avoid? We’ve got you covered with some helpful information below.
Why Is It Wise to Read Food Labels Carefully?
It might be time-consuming, but it will be worth your effort to read food labels carefully before putting things into your cart at the grocery store.
If you aren’t carefully reading labels to check for things like calorie and fat content, sugar content, and the quality of the ingredients in a packaged food, you might be making poor decisions without even realizing it.
Keep in mind that a manufacturer can put whatever they want on the front of the label in order to entice you to purchase their food product. But, if you look at the ingredients label and nutrition facts label, you might recognize that there are problem ingredients that you should be avoiding, or the food might be higher in fat and calories that you might’ve assumed.
What Are the Problem Ingredients to Avoid?
Now that you know why it is important to read food labels, it is time to cover the ingredients that you should avoid as much as possible. Here are a few of the main ones that should be limited or eliminated from your diet, according to Spectrum Health:
- Hydrogenated oils
- Sodium nitrates and nitrites
- Artificial colors
- Artificial flavors
- Preservatives like potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate
- Oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and vegetable oil
- Added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, agave, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, rice syrup, maltodextrin, cane juice crystals, dextrose, sucrose, and fruit juice concentrate
Other additives that are considered unwanted ingredients include the following:
- Monosodium glutamate, which is more commonly known as MSG
- Brominated vegetable oil
- Potassium bromate
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame
- Preservatives known as BHA and BHT
Shop Smarter by Knowing What Ingredients to Avoid
You can’t control all of the ingredients that are used in meals that are prepared at restaurants, but when you are shopping for the ingredients that you will use to prepare delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals, you are in total control. Simple steps like taking a few moments to read labels to look for unwanted, unhealthy ingredients is wise.