Reading food labels isn't always a piece of cake. More often than not, you are faced with a list of ingredients that don't say much to you and, therefore, you are left unaware of the fact that at least some of them might be harmful.
Still, if you want to be a savvy consumer, you should know that therre are certain things to avoid on food labels that you might want to learn by heart. The reason is that they usually "hide" under several names.
Another aspect you may want to take into account is the order of ingredients on food labels. Here's the trick to keep in mind: ingredients are listed according to the quantity found in the respective product, the first ingredient being an indicator for the highest amount.
What ingredients should I avoid in food? If that's what you find yourself thinking about lately, here's the answer!
Food Labels Ingredients to Avoid: Sugars
There are so many foods packed with sugars that they are almost impossible to avoid - especially since sugar is to be found in a high amount of processed foods available on the market!
Found in soft drinks, desserts and even cheese spread, sugars are tricky because they can be listed under several names. How do you identify hidden sugars? Take a look at the word ending: if it ends in "ose", it's definitely sugar (be it dextrose, fructose, sucralose or sucrose).
And you should definitely not ignore High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a very dangerous additive, responsible for health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Processed Food Ingredients to Avoid: Trans Fats
If you want to identify harmful trans fats on food labels (which are not listed as such), spot partially hydrogenated oils. And don't be fooled by the "0 g trans fat" claims! Labels may contain such claims when having less than a gram of trans fat.
Food Labels Ingredients to Avoid: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
As a moderate sodium intake is recommended in order to avoid health problems, learn to buy foods that don't contain MSG. Studies have shown that MSG is responsible for a vast array of serious health problems, such as obesity and neurodegenerative diseases.
Keep in mind that MSG hides under many names: glutamate, textured protein, yeast nutrient, autolyzed yeast, monopotassium glutamate, glutamic acid, yeast extract, yeast food, gelatin, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed protein.