The importance of label reading and reading the ingredients list can impact majorly on results both in and out of the gym. Why? The more knowledge we have on the foods we put into our bodies the more conscious we are going to be about our nutrition and health as a whole. There are a lot of “healthier” options on offer these days however they can still be filled with sugar or a sneaky one is gluten. Manufactures or big food companies have found a loop hole where instead of including sugar in the ingredients they will use a different name for it. Names such as dextrose, corn syrup, fructose sweetener or maltrose or rice syrup. All are a form of sugar and are used instead, so when people are checking the ingredient list for the ‘S’ word they can’t find it and buy the product anyway.
If we are more educated and informed about the food choices we are making than as a society we will not only feel better but also function better as human beings. 80% of packaged foods contain added “sweeteners” which is of course sugar. Soft drink is the most common sugar source for young adults to the adult population. Soft drink is the biggest source of sugar in today’s society, which is saying something. There are new soft drinks out now that are claiming to be “sugar free” or low in sugar, be careful here. Check the ingredient list and be sure that they are not tricking you with clever advertising. Wording is key. In most instances “low in sugar” is still a lot of sugar. The sugar they are using in these new soft drinks can be stevia, a plant based sweetener however the amounts can still be quite high. Let’s say on average a person will consume a 2000 calorie diet, 260 of those calories will be from sugar and that is purely just sugar not including sweeteners. So if there is one thing to take away from this article it is to change your perception of your daily sugar intake. Remembering that for women the recommended daily intake is 24 grams and men 36 grams of sugar per day. Some great ways to cut back on sugar include:
- Cutting sugar out of your daily coffee/tea, replacing it with either stevia (1-2tsp is a small amount and is fine to do so.)
- Changing soft drink for mineral water & lime or kombucha (which is great for gut healing)
- Changing low fat for full fat products such as yoghurt or milk (when fat is taken out of a product it is usually replaced with a sweetener of some sort)
- Being wary of additives and preservatives in “healthier options” such as muesli bars or proteins bars or even protein powders. Like I said before advertising and wording is key. It’s ok to read the ingredients list and serving sizes.
- Avoiding eating from packets or boxes. Looking more at wholefoods such as fruit and vegetables and natural sources of protein and natural protein powders.
By reading more about what is in our foods and less about celeb goss will benefit us all and bring us closer to a healthier and happier society. An overload in sugar, preservatives, additives and processed foods in general is setting ourselves up for failure rather than success. Rather we want to fuel our bodies for success rather than failure. How do we do this? Educate ourselves on label reading and look more towards whole foods; plants based foods rather than boxed, sugary, toxic foods and beverages. 52% of our sugar intake is through beverages which means that not only do we need to make changes within our daily food choices but also our liquid consumption.
Key points include:
- Read food labels
- Become conscious of daily sugar intake
- Different names for sugar
- Not being fooled by clever advertising
- Just because it says healthy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t read the ingredients list
Real Fitness Training is a boutique wellness studio located in the Hills District which includes the surrounding suburbs of Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Kellyville, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, Glenorie, West Pennant Hills, Glenwood and Rouse Hill. Our services include personal training, semi-private personal training, yoga, meditation and nutrition. Creating optimal lifestyles since 2013.