Great Health Tip of the Day: Read the Ingredient List

May 23, 2012

Reading the nutrition facts is a great way to determine the healthfulness of different foods.  However, one of the areas I feel is often overlooked is the ingredient list.  Here are some hints on what to look for and what to limit when reading an ingredient list:

  • Look for:
    • Whole Grains such as whole wheat, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain rye, whole grain barley, etc…
    • Heart-healthy sources of fat such as nuts, seeds and oils such as olive, canola, sunflower or safflower
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Legumes
  • Limit:
    • Added sugars including sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave, brown rice syrup, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose and fruit juice concentrate
    • Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated oils (these indicate that there is trans fat in a product, even when it is not listed under the nutrition facts)
    • Refined grains such as wheat flour, enriched flour, rye flour, degermed cornmeal, and rice