Sunday, August 25, 2013

Skinny Rule #8 - Learn to Read Food Labels

When it comes to a maintaining a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, you have to learn how to read food labels.  When I first began my journey of losing weight, I read the nutrition label all the time because I had to calculate WW I only looked at the Calories, Fat and Fiber content.  Now that I don't count calories or points (because I follow the Clean-Eating plan, I look more at the SUGAR content per serving more than calories and fat.  I've learned not to believe everything you read on a label is "good for you" even if it says low-fat, light or sugar-free.  Early on in my journey of losing weight and counting WW points, I ate a ton of sugar-free items/drinks because the point value was low....but I didn't realize how bad it really was for me.  Eating clean has taught me this:  The less ingredients a food item has, the better it is for you! 

One example that I want to highlight today is Salad Dressings. There are tons of dressings that are Non-Fat or Light, but they are high in sugar and loaded with preservatives and other chemicals.  My personal preference is to buy salad dressings that may have a higher calorie and/or fat content, but are low in sugar (carbs).  As long as you watch the portion amount, you aren't going to sabotage your healthy eating plan with a higher calorie, all-natural salad dressing.
Some of my favorite dressings are: Drew's Smoked Tomato Dressing and Bolthouse Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vinaigrette Chunky Blue Cheese.  One of my favorite sandwiches is an Albacore Tuna sandwich on toasted 100% whole grain bread with tomatoes, avocado and lettuce.  I'll mix the Smoked Tomato dressing in with the tuna instead of's super delicious and adds a ton of flavor to your sandwich!

Do you love the "Wedge Salad" that is really popular at restaurants loaded with bacon and blue cheese? Make your own Wedge Salad at home by using Turkey Bacon and the Bolthouse Farms EVOO Vinaigrette Chunky Blue Cheese....add some chopped tomatoes and fresh avocado...and you have a delicious salad!!

Here is a great video by Jillian Michaels about Food Labels:

Highlights from her video:
  • Gluten Free - Just because it's gluten-free, doesn't mean that it's good for you.  A lot of processed/packaged gluten-free items are typically higher in fat and calories
  • Hydrogenated - If you see this on the food label (found in margarine, creamers, etc.) DON'T EAT IT!!
  • Whole Grain  - Must say 100% Whole Grain...if it doesn't then it's not nutritionally the best option for you!

1 comment:

  1. Great tip on what to look for.... I'm wrestling now with whether to do WW or just strive to focus on Clean Eating to lose weight. I've done both in the past.... Either way, looking at the ingredients is so important. PS ~ LOVE Bolthouse dressings... and now they are available in most groceries (as opposed to just Whole Foods, etc).