Thursday, January 6, 2011

Label Reading

Oh eeem geee! Before I started seeing my trainer, I was under the impression that as long as I cooked it myself it had to be better than anything I could buy out to eat, right? Oh, so wrong...well at least sometimes. My trainer used to trick me and ask "What have you had to eat?" I would give an answer that I was really proud of, only for her to wrinkle her face up and reply, "Did you check the label?" Check the label? Why would I do that? We were making progress to get me to cook in the first place, I thought. Of course she had to revisit my initial goals to really drive her point home. As she gestures around her midsection(stomach, hips, thighs), she explained that high levels of sodium would keep me bloated in that region. Funny, I thought I had a low tolerance for salt. But just because you don't taste it, doesn't mean it isn't there. I was also having a problem with my ankles aching and swelling at night. I thought this was really random, because I'm "so young" and in such "good health". She brought up the sodium issue again. One particular day, I went home to cook, I was craving a Taco Kit. I flip the box over, because I'm determined that I'm going to prove her wrong. I look at the sodium...770 mg of sodium per serving...but there were "3 servings" in the box...I live alone, so at some point, I would've ingested all of that sodium...That was a wake up call. She told me as much as possible to try to keep my sodium under 150 mg. Also, pay attention to how many servings there are in a box/container, because I know I used to ignore that. Check not only the calories, but also the calories from fat, you don't want to eat something that is mostly calories from fat. I also check the sugar and try to stay around 8 grams of sugar per serving. I was definitely one of those people who thought nutritional labels were for health junkies and vegans, until I realized the things that I was subjecting my body to, which had a direct effect on the way I was feeling.

Here's the FDA site that explains nutritional labels:

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