January 17, 2012 by Imprint Fitness
Nutrition labels are suppose to be there to guide us, but what if that information was skewed for the manufacturers benefit, making it difficult for even the most health conscious person to detect the real value of what they are putting in their mouth? Well, that’s what happened to me a few weeks ago!
It all happened while we were on vacation in Phoenix, AZ. It wasn’t too hard to find healthy choices during the trip, our favorite restaurant out there was called Pita Jungle. All sorts of options for vegans/vegetarians and carnivores alike. A mix of Mediterranean, French, Southwest and just about everything else you can think of. They also have all the nutritional information for their dishes online, along with the bio of a dietitian that works with them. Another favorite ended up being The Daily Dose – which offered similar cuisine and reasonable prices.
Our restaurant experiences were positive for the most part, but it was hard to get in every meal while vacationing with a heavy schedule. We had a hard time getting in a decent breakfast and our snacks for the car consisted of low sodium beef jerky, almonds and a new favorite we discovered, Pumpkorn Dark Cocoa, pumpkin seeds.
Before we discovered the large amount of healthy grocery stores out there (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Sunflower Farmer’s Market, Trader Joes…etc!), the first few days we stuck with the grocery stores down the street from our hotel. We picked up the almonds, tons of bottled water, rice cakes and whatever else could get us from one meal to the next besides the gallon baggies of protein powder we smuggled in our carry-on bags.
Our second day on the trip, we were about to pick up some regular old shelled pumpkin seeds. My first instinct, as with any food, is to check out the nutrition label. Everything seemed normal until I looked at the sodium content. 20 mg of sodium, with three “***” next to it. I was confused and knew that count seemed low, knowing packaged and shelled pumpkin seeds taste very salty. I looked all over the back label to figure out what, “***” stood for.
Check out the second section from the bottom! 1630 mg of sodium! Who shells EVERY seed!? It’s almost impossible! Almost a days worth of sodium in 2.25 oz package.
This style of labeling is, unfortunately, common practice. SO… always be sure to check out the labels on all of your packaged foods. You may need to spend a bit more time doing your grocery shopping, but it will be well worth it and you won’t have to wonder what’s causing you to hold on to water anymore! Take control of what you allow in your body. You are well worth the extra effort.
There are many more examples of food label trickery that I will discuss more in future posts.
Until next time,