By: Theresa Carmichael
Large food companies have been getting a lot of attention on whether or not they are being honest with their customers. These companies often times include labeling on their packaging that can mislead or cause confusion for the general public. Labeling standards for products considered “free range”, “enriched”, “wholesome”, “all natural”, and “no salt added” are unknown to many individuals. In return, they have become extremely popular in the food industry. Well, it’s time to debunk the misconceptions and explain what these phrases really mean according to the labeling laws of the USDA and FDA:
Free Range- The animals are allowed access outside of living conditions, but do not necessarily live and roam outside. Most certified free-range products include farm practices that keep the animals in a room or building, but include small passageways for outside movement for about 1/3 of their life.
No Salt Added- This means exactly what it says. BUT, this term seems to mislead people to believe there is no salt in that food. After taking a look at the nutrition facts label on the back of a product, you will find that the salt or sodium content of that food can still be substantially higher than other foods without this label due to the food’s original composition.
Enriched- The original nutrients of a food have been taken out due to processing, but have been artificially put back into the product. Enrichment is used to make sure people are getting the essential nutrients they need whether or not they eat whole foods or processed foods.
Wholesome- The food is considered safe to eat, not of more nutritional value.
All Natural- This term is pretty vague and is only regulated for minimally processed meat and egg foods. This label does not include standards regarding farm practices and is not regulated when used on products other than meat and eggs.
Once we have taken into account the nutrition facts label and the true meaning of these labels, we can each continue to be our own food activist.
By: Theresa Charmichael
It is believed that after an incredible week of working out and eating right, a “cheat meal” is in your future. The problem? Most people believe this meal is for overindulging in your favorite treat: pizza, cupcakes, french fries, etc. The truth is, a cheat meal IS meant for your favorite treat. But, this meal must be the same portion size as you would regularly eat your “healthy” meals. Eating a large pizza to yourself is going to make it extremely hard to get back on track for the rest of the week. Although this relates mostly to the fitness gurus and body builders out there, the same rules apply! Matching energy output with energy input is the only way to keep reaching your goal without any set backs! Creating balanced every day habits seem to work much better than overindulging during a cheat meal once a week. Moderation of your favorite snacks is key whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain your current status.
By: Theresa Carmichael
Don’t be fooled! Even though that bag of shredded cheese has an expiration date or a “best if used by” date for next month, it may have already gone bad! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes that the expiration date on a package is the date in which food is still good while it’s in its UNOPENED packaging! Once the food has been taken out of the bag, that expiration date is no longer accurate! Although the dates are extremely important when storing food, the BEST way to tell if your food is still good is by analyzing it. Does it smell like anything other than its original scent? Does it have a slime or stickiness to it? Has the color changed due to deterioration? Does the first bite taste bitter? Questions such as these are ones you should be asking yourself when determining whether or not a food is okay to eat. Don’t rely solely on the printed “expires on” date, or you may find yourself in big trouble the next day!
By: Theresa Carmichael
1. There is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. It’s the way we prepare and process food, and the amount we eat that become important. For example, grilling foods instead of fat frying foods can completely change the dynamic of your diet.
2. Recognizing nutrient dense food vs. calorie dense food makes a huge impact on a person’s overall diet. Although we may have access to a variety of foods, its choosing just enough of the nutrient dense food that will make a difference.
3. Poor nutrition can also cause the development of many chronic diseases. A few examples of diet related diseases are diabetes, obesity, and several types of cancers.
4. Balancing energy input (eating) and energy output (exercise) is very important in maintaining good health. Always include a side of exercise with your diet!
These 4 things are just the basics! But knowing them will keep you on the right track to healthy living!
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Our goal is to present nutrition facts and advice in a fun and interesting way! We want to get our members involved in a healthy lifestyle as well as share articles that shine a light on nutrition and health.