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Read Your Labels!
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By Mazzenga Daniels
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By Mazzenga Daniels
June 13, 2013 2:13 p.m.

Ok, so they make fat-free and sugar-free products for our benefit, right. Technically yes, but you still have to read your labels. Why you ask? Let's take a look:

  • When they remove one harmful ingredient, they may add another harmful one to make the product more appealing taste-wise. So let's say they make a “fat-free” option of a product. They may have added more salt or sugar to it to make it pleasing to your taste buds. The same holds true for sugar free options. Make sure you read the label to know you aren't buying something that will damage you in other ways. The best option is to buy something that has 10grams of sugar or less, and less than 8 grams of fat, especially of the saturated variety. Low-sodium and no salt added are great options to look for also to keep your sodium intake low.

  • Just because its sugar-free and fat-free doesn't mean its calorie-free. Again, read the label and see how much you are supposed to be eating. Portion sizes are wonderful tools to help you lose and maintain a certain weight. Don't overindulge because the food doesn't have sugar or fat in it.

  • Unless you are diabetic and require sugar-free options, steer clear of them due to the fact that they use alternative sugar sources, mainly fake ones. Aspertame and sucralose are two of these not so great options. The fact that too much regular sugar isn't good for you should give you a clue that too much fake sugar is even worse. Stick to limiting your sugar vs. using alternative methods. If it's made in a lab, why would you want it in your body?

    Bottom line here is to stick to what you know. If the ingredient list of a food is longer than the name, then you might want to look at another option. Keep it as fresh and natural as possible. Now that the nicer weather is upon us, we can take advantage of local Farmer's Markets. Its a great way to help out your local community while keeping yourself healthy also. In fact, starting in June, The Wayne County YMCA will be having their own fresh food stand. Stop by to check it out! For more information, give us a call at (570) 253-2083, or visit our website at ymcawayne.com.

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