Learning to read food labels is a critical step to living a healthy, Paleo lifestyle. The issue with food today is that it can be made of so many ingredients. While we always recommend making your own food from scratch we understand that sometimes that just isn’t going to happen. When you run into instances where you must purchase pre-made or pre-prepared foods, we encourage you to look at the label.
On the Paleo Diet the main concerns we have are the contents or ingredients of the food and how the food was produced.
When looking at the ingredients the main thing to keep in mind is that the sooner an ingredient shows up on the list the more prevalent that ingredient is in the food. Another thing that will help you read labels more successfully is to become familiar with the ingredient terms you do not recognize. The best way to do this is to Google unfamiliar terms as you come across them.
The second thing that we really want to pay attention to on the label is how the product was produced. For example, is the product organic, grass-fed, free of nitrates? These are items that you’ll want to look for. Please note, this information will usually show up on the front of a product’s packaging verses on the back with the nutrition label.
As a cautionary tale, just because a label says it’s Paleo doesn’t mean it is. I came across an energy bar recently that said it was Paleo. However, upon further investigation I found that not all the ingredients were in fact Paleo. So yet again we see that it is critical to read through the ingredients in our food.
Here’s to being educated on what we’re putting into our bodies!
Melissa Van Dover