I’m going BLIND!!

I remember the first time I read the back of a label… I mean, other than just turned it around and saw another language besides CALORIES.

I thought I would go blind.

Anyone else get a little confused with everything you’re supposed to be remembering to watch for?

Let’s take a look at this juice label (thank you Lindy for the picture) – and see some of the major things you should “READ” when you’re looking at the numbers in the boxes on the back of this drink.

Label for "Naked" juice (courtesy of Lindy P.)

Serving – this is where a lot of “marketing” schemes get you.  On the front, if they want to push nutrition, they will make the serving size HUGE, so you must have a lot of (whatever it is) to get that amount of nutrition.  OR it can swing the opposite way, and they can make the serving size tiny (1/4 cup), when you’re taking in about 1 cup of a serving to feel full… so take the rest of those numbers x4 – OUCH!  For me, that happened a lot with cereals, and other snacks  Watch OUT!

Prepackaged snacks seem like a great idea – BUT they’re usually carb only, and away over priced for this family.  It’s much easier to buy something in bulk, or create your OWN snack mix and break it out.  Just get your measuring cup out – and bag it!  Super easy.  This particular serving of juice – is 140 calories.  It is an ok “snack” for the portion size, but that is going to be it.  So either drink half of a serving, and have it with something else… or plan on the portion being your snack alone.

Calories – Something can totally be low calories, but have a ton of fat, or other hidden negatives (usually sodium), so beware of this if you see low cal – don’t assume it’s a great choice.  I shoot for around a 100-130 calorie snack, but you have to figure out what you’re able to have as you figure out your meals.  Every day isn’t going to look the same, allow flexibility so you don’t get bored!

Carbs – Remember we talked about “Carb Choices” = 15 grams of Carbs.  This particular item is going to be 31 net carbs (33 carbs – 2g fiber = 31 net carbs), so it’s worth 2 carb choices… and is an ok snack choice.  The fact that of the 33 grams of carb, 28g is sugar… isn’t a super ratio.  5 grams of carb = 1 teaspoon of sugar.  NOW how do you feel about it?  Our Dr always recommends eating a fruit or veggie vs. drinking it because extra sugar is added in, and fiber is taken out.  Is this a terrible choice?  Definitely not – but not the best one.

Fiber – 2 grams of protein in this juice drink, but what TYPE of fiber is it?  Soluble or Insoluble? Good sources of soluble fiber are oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, lentils, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, and carrots.  Insoluble fiber, found in whole wheat and whole-grain products, wheat bran, and green, leafy vegetables, is also valuable for the digestive system, but it doesn’t provide the boost to the immune system that soluble fiber provides.  Fiber also helps to reduce the amount of insulin released by the pancreas, by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates, which are transformed into glucose (sugar) in your body, before entering the bloodstream.

Protein – Snacks that have some protein are a great choice because you’re less likely to feel hungry as quickly as carb only choice.  Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels by slowing down carbohydrates from entering the bloodstream too quickly   This juice has some protein, but again it might a good idea to maybe have half a serving with something else that has a bit more – helping you get to that next meal without feeling famished!

So … there you go!  All in all, not a bad choice… but some things to think about when making snack choices.  Hopefully we’ll be able to take a look at some other labels and discuss some of the things (like FAT!) we analyze when picking out foods to eat.  When you’re eating better quality fiber and protein – you’ll crave less carbohydrates!  You want to moderately decrease your carbohydrate intake… for maximum health for Him!

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23

Posted on July 8, 2011, in Diet, Label Reading, Truth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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