Skip to Main Content

Department of Health News

Healthy Tip - Read the Labels

Foods without labels (fruits and vegetables!) are the gold standard, but when faced with a food label, the fewer the ingredients, the better.

Stay informed by reading food labels.Stay far away from foods with any of these food felons listed in the beginning of the ingredients:

  • Simple sugars - Anything that ends in “ol or “ose” are alcohols that turn into sugar quickly. Excess sugar weakens proteins in your body, directly aging your joints, arteries and immune system. Avoid more than 4 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Enriched, bleached or refined flour (stripped of its nutrients) - These carbs are turned into sugar in your bloodstream, fast.  Look for “whole grain” instead. It takes longer to be turned to sugar, staying in your intestines and keeping you full! If it’s not listed first, it’s not 100-percent whole grain.
  • High fructose corn syrup - This synthetic sugar doesn’t shut off your hunger signals, is linked to weight gain and weight-related diseases.
  • Saturated fat - Can raise bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Avoid having more than 4g of saturated fat in an hour.
  • Trans fat - Stay far away from this artificially-made fat. It can mess up your metabolism in such a way that it speeds the hardening of plaque in your arteries – big ager on your heart! Don’t let the term “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils” fool you

One last thing to look out for:  If the label is screaming that it’s “fat-free” or “zero trans fats,” then it may be loaded with sugar.