Food products are becoming more and more processed. It can be hard to tell which ones are actually healthy. Constantly eating unhealthy food can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
To make sure you’re eating healthy, use these four tips to determine if a food product is healthy.
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Check the Ingredient List
Checking the ingredients list is one of the quickest ways to determine if a food product is healthy. The ingredient list will show you what the product is actually made of.
Generally, the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the product is. So look for products with simple ingredient lists that you can easily recognize and understand and avoid products with long ingredient lists that contain a lot of unrecognizable additives.
Also, ingredients are generally listed in order of quantity, so the first ingredient is what the product contains the most. If the first ingredient is sugar, fat, or flour, the product is likely not very healthy.
Pay Attention to Packaging Practices
Packaging can affect the healthfulness of a food product. Nitrogen gas, for example, is often used to keep packaged foods fresh.
Some packaging methods can introduce unhealthy chemicals into food. Bisphenol A (BPA) for example, is a chemical found in many foods and beverage containers that can seep into the food and potentially cause health problems.
To avoid these unhealthy chemicals, look for foods that are packaged with barrier polymer film linings or that are certified BPA-free.
Check the Nutrition Facts
The nutrition facts label will tell you everything you need to know about the nutritional value of a food product.
Generally speaking, you want to look for products that are low in calories, fat, and sodium. You also want to make sure the product contains a decent amount of fiber and protein. Also, be sure to check the serving size to get an accurate idea of how the nutrition facts apply to you.
The nutrition facts label can be confusing, but luckily there are apps and websites that can help you make sense of it all.
Consider the Overall Healthfulness of the Product
When determining if a food product is healthy, it’s important to consider the overall healthfulness of the product. For example, a cookie might have a short ingredient list, but that doesn’t make it healthy to eat them all the time. And even though avocados are a good source of healthy fats, you shouldn’t eat too many of them because they’re still high in calories.
So, when considering the overall healthfulness of a food product, be sure to take everything into account, including your health and fitness goals.
Eating healthy can seem like an uphill battle, but if you use these four tips, you can easily determine whether a food product is healthy or not. By making smart choices about the foods you eat, you can improve your overall health and wellness.