Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 11 - Read the Box (3/12/12)

To recap:
Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day -
Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
Week 3: Keep off the couch -
Week 4: Keep a food journal -
Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  Haven't remembered this one all week :(
Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
Week 8: Eat your Veggies-
 Week 9: Enjoy time alone-
 Week 10: Take time to stretch- I'm not doing so well with this one, but I try!

The Change:
Learn how to read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel on packaged products so you can make healthier choices.
 I read labels a lot more these days, but mainly to read the calorie content and the serving size.  Who knew that serving sizes could be so deceiving?   It's been a real eye opener to check the labels of things before I buy them. The good thing is that we don't eat a lot of pre-processed food, so I don' t have to worry too much about what is in things.  Most of the processed foods that we do eat, I already know are bad for me (cookies, chips, candy....)

This week we also have an assignment with our small change:

1. Go to your pantry and pull out the first three things you see. Look at the labels.

2. How many ingredients are in each item? Can you pronounce all of them? Do you know what they are? Fat and sugar have many aliases. List a few of the ones you know.

3. What is the serving size? Go and measure or weigh they items and see if you're normally getting more than a serving. What is the outcome? 
 1. My three items, things that I eat fairly regularly:

                  a) Lipton Cup-a-soup Chicken Noodle
                  b) Vegetable Thins
                  c) Snack Pack Chocolate pudding

2. Each has a minimum of 10 ingredients, with the crackers having more than 20.  I was surprised to find MSG in both the soup and the crackers.  The soup has 2 ingredients called "disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate" and the crackers have "soybean oil with TBHQ".  I have no idea what any of these things are.  Even the pudding has a mysterious ingredient - "carrageenan" which doesn't sound good at all.

3.  I'm good with the serving sizes for these items.  The puddings and soup come pre-measured, so those are easy.  The crackers' serving size is 15 and I do measure those out when I take them for lunch, since I am counting calories and need to know what I've eaten.

I eat these items because they are low in calories - soup = 50, crackers = 80 and pudding = 90.  But looking at them holistically,  they probably aren't the best choices that I could be making.  Thanks to this small change, I will definitely be paying more attention to labels.

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