Hi Vanessa 🙂
I have a dilemma – I’m really confused on how to read food labels. My main concern is the salt and fat amounts as I’m trying to trim down a bit. Do you have any advice? And what is the recommended daily amount of these for a 16 year old girl? Sorry to bombard you with a lot of questions.
I have a pretty simple way of looking at this, if something is whole, natural, and unprocessed then it doesn’t really matter. Take an apple for example, it may contain different nutrients but all in perfect balance and nothing to concern ourselves with, however if we had to take a chocolate bar and look at the label, it contains so many different ingredients, sugar, fat, chemicals, additives etc…
I don’t advise people to obsess over numbers and calories or even or the technical data on a food label, as we are supposed to be eating very simple clean food. Nobody ever reads the label of a bag of carrots or broccoli or strawberries, its only when the food has been processed, packaged and put in a box that we start looking at the label.
If there is an ingredient you cannot pronounce don’t eat the food. If it contains sugar limit it or remove it, if it is a good fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil) then eat them, you will find that you won’t overeat them. With regards to sodium, once again only very processed food you will need to look out for, and I would recommend stay away from these foods.
Only hydrogenated fat is an issue, so fat in crisps, biscuits, chocolate, boxed food etc…. good fats are generally raw and very healthy. Have a little fat in all your meals, so in the morning with oats add some seeds or nuts, at lunch have some avocado, at dinner have some olive oil or olives.
I wouldn’t recommend table salt as it is too high in sodium, but I love herbamare and a little whole coarse sea salt. Fresh herbs are a better way to season your food.