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One of the biggest diet pitfalls people make is assuming they are eating something healthy, when in fact, they are not. Food marketers know this and take advantage of the average consumer by claiming to be healthy, but secretly they have added ingredients that are not so good for you. Have you ever looked at the labels of the “low-fat” foods you purchase?  Do you recognize all of the ingredients?

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I used to be one of those “low fat” junkies. I thought by choosing low fat foods, I was eating well, when in fact, I was putting harmful ingredients into my body—MAJOR FAIL!

When I started looking at the labels on the back of these low-fat foods, I realized I couldn’t pronounce most of the ingredients that were packed into my food! Some of these foods had 20 or more ingredients AND many of these foods had extra hidden sugars and sodium to replace the flavor lost when they took out the fat.

Fat is not always the enemy—there are many healthy fats your body needs to function properly. Instead of worrying about cutting the fat, focus on cutting the unhealthy ingredients that your body doesn’t recognize. When your body doesn’t recognize a food you eat, you will be left less satisfied and feel hungry again just a short time later.

This week I challenge you to read your food labels! I have set a goal for myself to only buy foods that contain five or less ingredients, and I want to be sure I can recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients in my foods.

Here is just a short list of the ingredients I try to avoid:

  1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  2. Aspartame/Saccharin/Sucralose
  3. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  4. Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate
  5. Any Growth Hormone
  6. Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil / Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  7. Bleached White Flour

There are too many harmful ingredients out there to mention but as a general rule of thumb, if you don’t recognize it and can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!

*This advice should not replace the advice of your doctor.