Don’t be Deceived by Food Labels

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I’ve had several conversations this week about beverages. My friends in my Summer Health and Fitness Challenge group on Facebook have asked about the beverages they like to drink. I’ve had questions about Gatorade, Diet Coke and even flavored waters.

I like to eat (and drink) as clean as possible. I’m not saying that you have to drink just water all day long, all the time. There really are so many other and healthier options, but any type of soda, in my opinion, is a big “NO!” always. I advised my friends to find beverages not so loaded with sugar and chemicals.

Now let’s talk about flavored waters. Taking a look at the label on the flavored water above its seems great right? Words like “natural flavor” and “essential vitamins” just jump out at you! But you really need to learn to read the ingredients and the label on the back of the bottle. Let’s take a look.

FullSizeRenderLooks good, yes? No calories, no sugars, no carbs etc. Take a closer look at the ingredient listing though. A list of ingredients for water shouldn’t read that long!

  • Sucralose – otherwise known as Splenda is a chlorinated version of white table sugar. Although approved as safe by the FDA, some studies have shown that it may cause damage to blood cells, and the liver and kidneys
  • Yellow 5 – used to add coloring is an approved food dye by the FDA, but is banned in most European countries. Studies have shown that this food dye can cause hyperactivity and ADHD in children, migraines, and blurred vision
  • Blue 1 – another food dye banned in most countries but approved in the US. This dye is also linked to instances of ADHD and allergies.

It might just be me, but when I choose a water to drink, the ingredient list shouldn’t be as long as a Harry Potter novel. It should just read WATER. Maybe “natural flavorings”.

So what are some healthier beverages to drink? How about water, green tea, or natural fruit juices. I actually love to make my own naturally flavored waters. Grab a big pitcher and fill it with water and add some freshly cut fruit. I love to make flavor waters and you can do many different flavor combinations: cucumber slices and mint, lemon and lime slices, fresh berries, etc.

It’s been a hot summer, so the thirst is real, but make smart choices in the beverages you choose!

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