I know that with your busy city life your time is short, but I would like to challenge you next time you go shopping. How? Start reading food labels. If you don´t do this you might be consuming something you don´t want even when you are buying the so-called healthy products, such as popular vegetable milks or packed dates (the ones I know have added sugar, so I prefer buying them in bulk).
Ideally we should choose fresh products and avoid processed/packaged food. I understand that this is not always possible, so it is important that you take care of yourself by looking at the labels before buying anything. I can assure you that after reading labels your interest in certain products will vanish.
Here are my 5 tips next time you go shopping:
1 The first ingredient on the list is the main one. In other words, it is the most prevalent in the product you are about to buy. In case it is sugar, maybe a good idea would be to put it back on the shelf.
2. The bigger the list of ingredients, the more concerns it should raise. For example, my homemade almond milk has 3 ingredients: almonds, water and date (or honey). But when I look at the label of an almond milk brand bought in the supermarket I have the following info: water, sugar, almond (2%), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, stabilizers (carob gum, gellan gum), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), vitamins (riboflavin (B2), B12, E, D2). Is all this really necessary? And have you noticed that there is only 2% of almonds?
3. If you can´t pronounce the name of the ingredient, then this is a red flag! You are probably better without it.
4. In the same label you may find sugar under different names. Words that end in -ose are probably sugar, such as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, lactose and galactose.
5. In the European Union (unlike the United States) if a product has a GMO ingredient it must be identified on the label. You can check out here the products in Portugal which have been identified has containing GMO.
Are you ready to become a detective?