Daily Challenge Sunday Sep. 26, 2010
Healthy Behaviors is about lifestyle habits, namely healthy eating and physical activity, which have proven connections to lifelong health and disease prevention.
Read the nutrition labels on 2 packages of food.
How to do it
Before you pour yourself a glass of juice or spread peanut butter on a piece of toast, take a minute to read the food label ("Nutrition Facts") on the outside of the package. How many servings does the package contain? How many calories are in a single serving? What percentage of the daily recommended amount of sodium does the food contain? Does it contain any cholesterol, saturated, or trans fats? Look to see how much sugar a single serving has, as well as the amount of protein.
Why it matters
Food labels can be important tools for making wise food choices. Often, the same packaged foods contain very different nutrients. For example, some varieties of orange juice contain calcium and others do not. Many packaged foods tend to be high in sodium and sugar (hiding as dextrose, fructose, galactose, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, malt, maltose, or muscovada). They also may contain cholesterol, saturated, and trans fats which you need to limit for heart health. In general, limiting the amount of processed (packaged) foods you eat is a great way to reduce your intake of sugar and salt, as well as fat and cholesterol.
Until the late 1700s sugar was a luxury that European nobility used to validate their rank and social power. It was so precious, in fact, it was called "white gold."
- Lou P.LeafingLevel 191
The best kind of food doesn't come with a label (like fresh fruit or meat from the butcher.)
- Chris C.LeafingLevel 93
Curious about sauces I use.
Soy sauce: 10 calories, 960mg sodium, 2g protein.
Marie Sharp's Habanero sauce: 30 calories, 105mg sodium. That's it.
Got turned on to Marie Sharp's in Belize, where I think it must sit on every table of every restaurant in the country! Great stuff. Check it out on Amazon.
Emily S. replied September 27, 2010 at 0:50 UTC:
Cool. Or, rather hot! Just ordered some on Amazon. It says Marie Habanero's red habanero is considered to be the hottest variety of pepper known to man. I bet it wards off all sorts of things. ;-)
- Jake B.LeafingLevel 194
Went grocery shopping today so this was a particularly timely challenge. In case you haven't heard - high fructose corn syrup is now going to be called "Corn Sugar", a much more appropriate term considering what it is.
Conrad F. replied September 26, 2010 at 21:18 UTC:
Not really, HCFS has been proven to link to the following:
-Deficiency in copper and can inhibit the body's metabolism
- HCFS can contribute to weight gain as it can turn off the signal to our brains that we are full
- HCFS can be a composite of fructose and glucose which process separately in the body, but fructose is metabolized in the liver. This can result in cirrhosis of the liver and "fatty liver"
- Because its made from corn, it can be a genetically modified food.
- For women using an oral contraceptive it can interact with insulin levels and cause high blood pressure.
You should read some real medical reports, especially by doctors and scientists not on payroll for Cargill, ADM, or Monsanto. BIll Sanda is a good reference and same with references found from the movie Food Inc. and Super Size Me. Another killer reference and award winning book is Fateful Harvest. That is a true reporters documentary on what food is and what we are doing to it.
This "sugar" is the same product as HFCS and ADM promoted its change to help curb the ever growing demand to remove it from our products.
Jake B. replied September 26, 2010 at 23:04 UTC:
Wow! I'll definitely have take a further look into that (I'll start with Bill Sanda and though I saw Super Size Me, looks like its about time for another viewing). Thanks for the heads up.
- Julia B.LeafingLevel 242
This is a recent habit for me. I was told to lower my sodium intake, and my boyfriend was told to lower his cholesterol and fat intake. We've gotten good at scanning labels when shopping. Now we just need to remember to check the serving size. It's easy to go through an entire bag of chili lime cashews in a couple of days!
Ruth G. replied September 26, 2010 at 15:57 UTC:
Yes Julia, I've learned too that portion control is a must:)
- Antares M.LeafingLevel 116
I've avoided animal products for 12 and a half years, so I'm quite adept at scanning ingredient lists. Recently, though, I've been paying more attention to calories, sodium levels, etc.
Ruth G. replied September 26, 2010 at 15:59 UTC:
Why no animal products Antares?
Antares M. replied September 26, 2010 at 16:05 UTC:
I've been strict vegetarian (a.k.a. vegan) mainly for ethical reasons, although there are a bunch of other benefits. It wasn't easy to make the switch, and it requires a lot of careful thought, but it's a personal decision I feel good about :)
- Kristen R.Growing
- Crystal K.BlossomingLevel 297
I'm usually pretty good about reading the calorie content and trans fats. It's amazing how high the sodium content is too now that I'm paying attention to it.
Ruth G. replied September 26, 2010 at 16:00 UTC:
Crystal, the sodium content was a big eye opener for me as well. I've even found potatoe chips low in sodium!:)