We are always talking about looking at labels but what are we looking at? I wasn’t quite sure but I was still looking. With the goal for April to learn and understand portion control and serving sizes, I have been looking at labels more than ever. Let me tell you, I was completely shocked to find out that 1 slice of bread was a serving size. How do you make grilled cheese with one slice of bread? Who knew that a serving of cereal was 2/3 or even 3/4 but not the whole bowl filled to the top with just enough room to add milk.
So today the nutrition tip on Couch 2 Healthy was to learn about ingredients on the labels. The fewer the ingredients, the healthier the choice potentially could be. What I didn’t know, was the ingredients on the label that could be harmful and should be avoided. I found out that BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is preservative used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. But check out the labels on the cereals that you eat, and you will find this ingredient there. Plus sodium nitrates found in hot dogs bonds with amino acids to form nitrosamines, a powerful carcinogenic compound. So glad that I don’t like hot dogs.
But for me the worst was the caramel coloring found in sodas. They treat the sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. The Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. Another good reason why I need to scrap soda from my diet.
Although labeling is usually a negative thing in society, I now know why it is important to read them for the food we put in our body. I went from putting no food in to putting in just whatever to make my recovery “appear” to be in full swing. I have just switched from killing myself slowly with an eating disorder, to pumping my body full of poisonous ingredients. From this day forward, I will definitely be more conscientious about what I buy and what I eat. I picked to join the fight to save my life from this eating disorder, so why would I pick to eat these harmful ingredients.
You can label me….INFORMED!