Nutritional Labels: What To Look Out For

How many times have you referred to the nutritional label on everyday products only to find yourself shocked and confused?

This happened to me so often! I would look at the bold words written on a product and think, โ€œOh this must be very healthy since it is low in so and so!โ€ only for me to view the nutritional label and find dozens of additives such as artificial flavors, preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners and other chemicals placed in there! What’s worse is most often you can’t even pronounce these ingredients โ€“ so why would you put them in your body?

We cannot overemphasize the importance of consuming the right nutrients so to ensure you’re choosing the healthiest foods and avoiding the most harmful ones, keep your eye out for some of such ingredients:

  1. Artificial Flavoring

Artificial flavoring is essentially a chemical that’s added to foods to enrich or enhance an existing flavor. They’re added to most foods, unless it’s bluntly stated otherwise. Studies have shown that consuming artificial flavoring can be harmful to your health, resulting in conditions such as neurotoxicity, organ, developmental and reproductive toxicity or even cancer.

  1. Monosodium Glutamate

More commonly recognized as MSG, this additive is often hidden behind names like natural flavoring, yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate and textured protein. I remember years ago when this was the most popular and standard added seasoning to every cooking. Good thing we know better now. It offers no nutritional benefit and may in fact be linked to neurological disorders like migraines and seizures.

  1. Potassium Benzoate

It has been shown in countless studies that benzoate can damage the important control center in our deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). These chemicals, in large doses, have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they could totally inactivate it. Sounds scary, right? Potassium benzoate can be found in syrups, jams, pickles and olives. If you want to purchase these products, you’re better off finding organic options from your local farmer or nearby market.

  1. All Preservatives

Preservatives are used to increase a product’s shelf life, turning once “natural” products into something more processes. Look for butylated hydroxyanisole, tertiary-butyl hydroquinone, sodium nitrate and azodicarbonamide on your nutrition labels as these ingredients pose multiple health risks such as neurological problems, nausea, hyperactivity, asthma, allergies and certain cancers.

Prioritize Wholesome Foods!

What’s the easiest way to avoid these harmful ingredients? Simply reduce your intake of packaged/refined products. Sometimes, even the boxes labeled “healthy” or “organic” could be hiding something. Should you have no other choice but to buy packaged foods, ensure you read the nutrition labels before purchasing your products.

More importantly, prioritize fresh, wholesome foods as these don’t require a nutrition label and you can be rest assured that you’re not consuming harmful additives or chemicals โ€“ as long as the foods were grown in pesticide-free soil or have been well washed before consumption. To ensure you avoid harsh ingredients and additives, plant your own food or buy raw produce and organic whole grains from your trusted local farmer/market.

Set out on the path to better health today by trusting in the raw, natural sustenance God provided, and intended for us, all along.

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