A Healthy Perspective

So often the foods we eat and the activities we participate in are influenced by the marketing strategies of the companies who sell the food we buy.

If a food is advertised as fun and colorful, are we more likely to want to spend our money on it? If something is advertised as healthy, is it actually healthy or are we being manipulated as consumers? The best way to determine whether or not something is good for us is to be informed.

A simple way of pursuing awareness of nutritional information is to read the labels on the food we buy.

Often, when marketing a product, a manufacturer will boldly proclaim that the food item they are trying to sell is only X amount of calories per serving. However, without reading the nutrition label, you might not know that what appears to be a single serving of a food item is actually equal to two or three servings.

So if you purchase a coffee drink that is 220 calories per serving, but the bottle contains two servings that single coffee is equal to 440 calories. For many people that is nearly a quarter of a healthy calorie allowance!

When we do read nutrition labels, we might come across overwhelmingly long lists of ingredients. In most cases it is best to avoid these products as, in most cases, the more ingredients there are in a food product, the more processed it is.

This is particularly true when the nutrition label contains more chemicals than recognizable foods. Often it is highly processed food items that are advertised as low-fat and low-carbohydrate. Ironically, these self-proclaimed diet foods often contain higher levels of sugar and chemicals than other, non-diet, foods.

Rather than being swayed by deceptive packaging avoid the frozen section and go back to a common sense diet: cook your food from scratch. Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, and lean meats.

By doing this, you are the one who controls the nutrient levels of the foods you eat.

If you are the one preparing your food, then you know exactly what ingredients are in the food you are consuming.

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