Why does this matter? Food labels describe what a food contains and ultimately what you are consuming, so that you can choose what to (or not) include in your diet. Labels also need to indicate any precautions you may need to take, such as storage or cooking instructions or allergen warnings.
How do I read a label?
Items are listed in descending order (first = most) and should include any food additives, preservatives, flavours and colours. Nutritional panels are also educational as they show how much protein, carbohydrate (and sugar), fat and sodium a protein contains, as well as their calorie/kilojoule (kJ) amount per serving and per 100g. It is important to note that serving size is not always 100g or the container size and each label will specify the serving size the manufacturer has used.
Allergens must be labelled and the most common allergens listed on labels are gluten, Crustacea products (crayfish, crab, prawns), eggs, fish, milk, tree nuts, sesame seeds, peanuts, soybeans and sulphites.
Check out page 4 and 5 of the Governments Foodsmart booklet for charts on colours, preservatives and acidity regulators with their numbers and adjoining origin – natural or chemical. http://www.foodsmart.govt.nz/elibrary/food-additives.pdf
Artificial preservatives, colours and food additives are linked with respiratory problems, headaches, digestive discomfort, behavioural issues, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorders, fatigue, loss of concentration and some are linked with increased risk of cancer (nitrates).
The benefits of avoiding packaged and processed foods
- Reduced toxic chemical load on your body – which eases the detoxifying burden on your liver. This then becomes evident through clearer skin, balanced emotional and mental clarity, improved bowel regularity, and reduced cancer and overall disease risk
- Reduced behavioural challenges in particular with children who are susceptible or sensitive to food additives of any sort
- Reduced respiratory ailments such as asthma, sinus, hay fever or allergy-type reactions.
GOLDEN Rule 5: Read Ingredients Panels (RIP) or Rest in Peace
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.