Friday, February 28, 2014

What is in your food?

Have you ever looked at the little label on your favorite food package and wonder how in the world you are supposed to know if it is healthy or not? Well if this is you, it is your lucky day! As of yesterday, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally proposed to change the nutrition labels on packages to not only reflect American’s eating habits and health concerns but to also take notice of things such as added sugars.

The new labels will clearly (in big bold font) illustrate the caloric content, the serving size, and change the placement of percent daily values to give Americans a better insight into what they are really eating. Food labels have been around for more than 20 years but they do not accurately depict how we eat today. For example, a 20-oz of soda really contains 2.5 servings per bottle so if you were to drink the actual serving size (8 oz) you would consume 110 calories, 31 g carbohydrates, and 30 g sugar. BUT if you drink the whole bottle, as most people do, you are actually consuming 275 calories, 78g carbohydrates, and 75 g sugar… the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar!!
Old Label versus the new proposed Label

Additionally, when it comes to reading food labels it is important to know that the ingredients that are listed first are the most abundant in the product. For example, on Justins Almond Butter, I thought it was a healthy alternative to raw almond butter because heck, almond butter is almond butter right?? WRONG! Sure the first ingredient is dry roasted almonds but you wanna know what the next ingredient is? It is evaporated cane sugar! Or how about Prego tomato sauce…. Yes the first ingredient is tomato puree, but then comes sugar, vegetable oil (corn and/or cottonseed and/or canola) and then salt. What the heck is cottonseed oil? That doesn’t even sound edible! But we see tomato sauce and think that it is healthy. Do not get me wrong, not all tomato sauces are created equal but I hope you become more aware of what is actually in your food.  Better yet, aim to eat foods that do not even have a label! J

Now for Friday’s treat! I have been craving Mexican food for a long time but most places around here are not so diet-friendly. I am not thinking about fried chimichangas or drunk, smothered burritos. I want fresh chunks of tomatoes, avocadoes, pico de gallo, and yummy shredded chicken. So what’s a girl to do?! Improvise and make it at home! The menu will look something like this: fresh guacamole (made with avocadoes, fresh lemon juice, onions, pico, and cilantro), shredded crockpot chicken, fresh chips and salsa, and fiesta rice. Fiesta rice looks like a party and I am hoping it tastes like one too! I will have to update you come Monday how it turned out but for now, here is what it will look like (hopefully).

Take care of you,


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