Why to Start Reading the Ingredients List on the Nutrition Label

Unless you have food allergies or are already health conscious, you may not be as familiar with the ingredients list on packaged food. If you are unfamiliar to the ingredient section, you are not alone! At the beginning of my health journey I had never considered reading through the ingredients that made up the food I was eating. Understanding what is used redefined what health meant for me. Today’s post provides a few different reasons as to why it is important to start reading through the ingredients list.

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You Know What Exactly is in the Food Item

First and foremost, reading the label ensures that one knows exactly what they are eating. The more processed the food item, the more ingredients there is (and more often then not, the more unhealthy). Knowing what one is eating helps to encourage better, healthier food choices. Just because the packaging says that the food item is healthy does not always mean that it is. This is the simplest reason as to why it is important to read the ingredient list.

The Less Ingredients, the Better

The less ingredients there is, the healthier the food item is overall. For instance, the healthiest food choices are whole foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). These food items do not go through the same huge process to be made, packaged, and shipped off to be sold as packaged foods are. If you compare a banana to banana chips there is more ingredients involved for banana chips than the banana. In fact, the only ingredient for a banana is “banana”. Being that the ingredients involved for whole foods are just the whole food emphasizes on the important health value they contain. Simply speaking, the less processed then the less ingredients there are and the more nutritarians overall.

You Want to Avoid Things that You Cannot Pronounce Easily

Reading the ingredient list helps to avoid foods that have ingredients that are very difficult to pronounce. Usually these ingredients are man-made (they do not naturally occur in nature) that the body cannot recognize. This results in the body having a difficult time breaking down these ingredient. Such ingredients to avoid that are normally used in highly processed foods include hydrogenated oils and high-fructose corn syrup (just to name a couple). Avoiding items with long and complicated names ensures that what is being eaten has benefit for the body.

You Can Focus on Healthier Items

Once the unpronounceable ingredients are avoided, one can start to focus on healthier items. Recognizing what is and is not healthy helps one learn about the healthier food options that are available. From here one can understand what works and does not work for them (every body and every need are unique to the individual). Healthier food choices is apart of living a healthier life.

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