Stop Eating Snack Bars And Read This!
By Kirsten Cowart
We have some good new and some bad news about the American food supply; there is a huge variety of choices when it comes to what we eat. This could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, there is plenty to choose from, but on the other, without proper sleuthing, you may end up eating something that is highly processed or lacking any nutritional value whatsoever.
Nearly half a century ago, the typical American supermarket offered around 15,000 choices of food. Now, the market offers around 50,000 choices. While many of these foods are highly processed, there are also many other products with minimum ingredients that are quite nutritious.
It is important to know the basics when looking for healthy food, especially if you are looking for snack or meal replacement bars. With the on-the-go lifestyle of many working Americans, finding proper nutrition can be a bit of a struggle, especially if you are trying to avoid fast food.
That is why many people have decided to go to the snack bar aisle of their local market. While these sections used to only have ‘granola bars’ and then later ‘cereal bars,’ it has since evolved to an array of choices from energy bars to workout and meal replacement bars.
Since these bars have become so heavily relied on to replace whole meals, it is crucial that you understand the nutritional benefits or lacks of our bar choices.
5 Rules Of Picking Out Healthy Food
These 5 basic rules of good nutrition are simple enough that they can be applied to all eating areas of your life.
1. Read & Understand Labels – Until you have read the nutritional facts panel and ingredients list, you shouldn’t even look at the front of the package. A lot of money goes into the marketing and packaging of our foods and – even if they are in a green package and say “healthy” – they may not be. Once you become familiar with a brand, then you can trust what it says on the front.
2. Ingredients Are Listed In Order Of Abundance – Whatever ingredient the product contains most of will be listed at the very top. In the case of your snack bars, the top ingredients should be healthy and wholesome foods such as a seed, a fruit, a nut and/or a whole grain. If you see sugar or any of its other names such as sucrose, fructose, glucose or dextrose as one of the first few ingredients then put it back! This is a candy bar and not a nutritious meal bar
3. Avoid Junk Ingredients – Avoid both the unidentifiable and identifiable junk in the ingredient list. The identifiable junk items may be listed as hydrogenated oil or high-fructose corn syrup. The unidentifiable junk many be complicated names (besides the vitamins) that do not sound like food.
4. Keep It Short And Sweet – In general, the longer the ingredient list, the worse it is for you. The most healthy foods come from nature and have ingredient lists that are as simple as possible. For example, if you are buying almonds, the only ingredient on the package should be almonds.
5. Keep An Eye On Those Grains – All Grains Should Be Whole Grains – Anything that says “enriched” just means processed. You can also double check that the grain is whole by checking if the nutritional panel lists fiber. There should be 2-3 grams of fiber for every 100 calories in your food. The fiber will help with digestive health while also helping you feel full longer.
You can practice these 5 tips at home by grabbing any packaged product in your kitchen and seeing what the label on the back says. You may be surprised by what you find. Now you will no longer be fooled by fancy labeling and begin the journey towards great health.
Try these tips out and let us know in the comments below what you have found that helps you avoid processed foods and live a healthy life.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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