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How should I read food labels if I want to eat healthy?

Manuel Villacorta
Nutrition & Dietetics
If you want to eat healthy, understand what food labels are really saying. Most food products contain marketing ploys on the front of the package that are designed to catch your eye. They may claim to be "whole grain" and "trans fat-free," but when you read the ingredients listed on the back of the package, you may find that high-fructose corn syrup is listed as the first ingredient, whole grain flour as the last, and that the food is filled with partially hydrogenated oils. Keep in mind that the first ingredient listed is the one that is most abundant within the product, so if junk precedes quality, this food is not a healthy choice. Also, be aware that partially and fully hydrogenated oils are rich sources of trans fat and that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows food manufacturers to market a product as being trans fat-free if there is less than 0.5 grams per serving. So if you eat more than one serving, you're consuming unknown amounts of these unhealthy fats.
Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good

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Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good

Eating Free reveals why the prevailing wisdom on weight loss--low-calorie, no carbs, high-intensity exercise--sharply clashes with the facts of human biology and human nature, setting dieters up for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.