Why You Should Read Food Labels

The packaging and labeling of food items is a business.  It is in fact–my opinion– a business that motivates consumer behavior.  Package coloring, size, graphics, and terminology will either make you or a child take a second look or scowl and turn away.

The most savvy and educated consumer is capable of falling into the trap of buying what “looks” healthy.

Even more so now since my figure competition training has started, I carefully–or so I thought– read the food labels on mostly everything I buy.

On Friday, I ran into a local wholesale food store to buy two rotisserie chickens. Thursday night my family ate the (my) remaining “protein” meat source. Friday is an off night for cooking, so I needed to buy something that was already cooked.

Friday nights must be a popular rotisserie chicken night, because only one was left at four something in the afternoon.  I waited a few short minutes to get the second bird that wasn’t made “natural.” But that wasn’t an issue for me.

Here’s the label:

Looks Good!

Looks Good!

Looks good right!

Gluten Free
No MSG
No Hormones or Steroids Added
No Antibiotics Ever
All Vegetarian Diet
No Animal By-Products
Minimal Processed
No Artificial Ingredients Added

No Antibiotics

Minimally Processed

The packing is even “Eco-Friendly”

EcoFriendly

Before I carved my six and half ounces of chicken on my plate, I pulled the skin and any remnants of fat off.

As I’m getting my grub on, the package is in my eye shot range and I happen to see the “Nutrition Facts.” Holy Moly!!

Look at the the Sodium!

Look at the the Sodium!

I’m cool with everything except the SODIUM counts. 490 MG per 3 oz. serving!! That means I wolfed down 1,125 (6 1/2 oz.) of sodium with just the chicken.  Okay… wait!

I read the ingredients. The first three read, “Chicken, Water, Sea Salt…” Hello!  There’s your sodium amounts girl!  Sodium chloride, salt, or sodium, it is all the same!  Too much is not good for the body.

Well… I did pull the skin off. But still. During the cooking time, the sea salt that coated the chicken’s skin, was baked in and absorbed into the chicken. So how much sodium did I actually consume, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I probably won’t buy this again. The other bird, from a different company had equal amounts of sodium.

So what’s the big deal about sodium?  Stay with me….

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.*  (I consumed nearly half the dietary guidelines in one sitting.)

Sodium cannot and should not be completely eliminated from the body.  Many of the naturals foods that we eat contain smaller amounts of sodium.  However, the American Heart Association reports that,

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor. In some people, sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, creating an added burden on the art.  Too much sodium in the diet may also have other harmful health effects, including increased risk for stoke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. 

Studies have proven that high blood pressure and heart disease can be heredity.  Add the genetic predisposition to the disease and you have a recipe for disaster.

Whether you are trying to fit into your size 8 jeans, look stunning for your wedding, look hot on the beach, run a marathon, just get into shape, or something else, it is important to read food labels and educate yourself on the foods you put into your body.

We’re only given one body in this life, so why not treat it like a king or queen that it so greatly deserves.

Have a great day and remember to keep it movin!

Sources and Additional Reading

Mayo Clinic

The American Heart Association

2 thoughts on “Why You Should Read Food Labels

  1. “We’re only given one body in this life, so why not treat it like a king or queen that it so greatly deserves.” Couldn’t agree with this statement more. Why not buy the best fruit and vegetables you can possibly afford? Guaranteed, it is less expensive than extensive medical bills, etc. This is a great reminder. As always, love your blog!

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