How to Understand Nutritional Labels

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To understand nutritional labels, first look straight to the ingredients list where each item should be recognizable as food and not overloaded with chemicals. Break down a nutritional label for better understanding with healthy advice from a nutritional consultant and clinical herbalist in this free video on diets.

Part of the Video Series: Nutrition & Diets
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Charlotte Skiles. I'm a nutrition consultant and clinical herbalist with Eat in Peace Wellness Consulting, located in Austin, Texas. And today, I'm going to talk to you about how to understand nutrition labels. And this is a really interesting question that I love addressing and find it often coming up with my clients in the classes that I teach. People don't understand how to read nutrition labels, because we're focusing on the wrong things. We've created a very reductionistic model of thinking, and we want to break things down into carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. And we want to focus on that being the good part of the label with all the clear numbers on it. This is what this food contains. Well, the problem there is that that might not contain anything that your body recognizes as food. So I recommend putting your hand over the whole breakdown of the food product- the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and calories. It doesn't matter. Put your hand over that, don't even look at it, and go directly to the ingredients. When you read the ingredients, you should be able to pronounce the foods that are in your particular product. You should be able to find the foods out in nature. You should be able to, theoretically, make them at home. If you cannot, it is not food. It is man-made, chemically processed gunk. And you do not want to put that into your body. So when you're reading a food label, just remember: you can take anything and make into what would appear to be a healthy carbohydrate, protein to fat ratio. But it doesn't make it food, and it doesn't make it good to you. So put your hand over that, read the ingredients, ask yourself those questions, and you will make very healthy food choices for you and your family.

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