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Jun 24

How to Read Food Labels to Stay Healthy

When you’re out shopping, reading food labels is important if you want to stay healthy. Today, there are many different terms that are used, like organic and natural, and if you’re not careful, you could end up getting something you don’t want. A lot of people make this mistake, but you don’t have to. Learning how to read food labels is easy and once you do, you can ensure that you are eating the best products to stay healthy. Read on to find out more.

Natural or Organic to Stay Healthy?

A lot of people are realizing the health dangers related to eating foods that are unnatural or non-organic. There are even foods and ingredients that are genetically modified, known as GMO. You’ll find that many food labels will read “natural” or “organic”, but what does that really mean? Let’s take a look:

  • Natural: In order for food labels to say that it is natural, it cannot have any artificial ingredients, added color and has to be minimally processed. In other words, the food was pretty much unaltered, leaving it in its natural state.
  • Organic: Food labels that read organic cannot contain any antibiotics or hormones. If it’s meat it has to be grass-fed animals and if it’s vegetation, it has to be free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and herbicides. The food also has no genetically modified ingredients or animal byproducts. This too is minimally processed.

Common Labels for Red Meat: Lean, Grass-Fed and Naturally-Raised

The idea of staying healthy while eating meat is possible if you know how to read food labels properly For instance, there are three different types of meat to consider that is healthier – grass-fed, naturally-raised and lean. Let’s take a look at what those mean:

  • Naturally-raised: A voluntary claim that basically means that the animals were raised without the use of hormones and antibiotics (with exception for parasite control).
  • Grass-fed: Most cattle are fed grass at some stage in its life, but a lot of them are transferred over to corn and other foods that cows don’t naturally eat. When you see a 100% grass-fed label, it means that the cattle was raised only on grass and as never fed grain or given hormones or antibiotics.
  • Lean: This meat has less fat than traditional meat – only 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3.5 ounces, less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat and.

Chicken

There are two different food labels that you may find for chicken– free-range and no hormones. Free-range chicken involves birds that were not confined to shared cages that are normally stacked inside of warehouses. These chickens are kept from being in their natural environment, doing what they naturally do, such as foraging and flapping its wings. No hormones labels means that the chickens were not given any growth promoters to make them bigger. Hormones aren’t allowed for chickens or hogs, so your poultry should be free of hormones.

If you want to stay healthy, make sure to learn how to read food labels to ensure your food is as natural as possible. Eating healthy can also help you to lose weight, so you can fit in your new outfit from Barneys New York!