Be Suspicious of Food with Natural Ingredients
The food industry is well aware of the fact that most people are trying to eat healthy, which is why there is no shortage of foods with labels such as "Natural", "Organic" and "Low-Fat". Vegan foods and gluten-free foods are also becoming increasingly common. While some of these foods may in fact be good for you, there are many reasons why these buzzwords should be taken with a grain of salt and a lot of careful examination.
Natural Is Not a Regulated Term
First of all, it is important to realize that the term "Natural" is not regulated. That means any company can slap a "Natural" label on any product that happens to have some sort of natural ingredient. "Organic" foods must be grown without certain pesticides and chemicals or, in the case of meat, without the use of certain antibiotics or growth hormones. Even so, some chemicals are used in the food production process and organic foods can contain more sugar and fat than you really want to eat.
Watch for Added Sugars and Salt
Low-fat foods are often rich in sugar. Taking out fat from the food reduces its flavor and sugar is typically added so that it tastes good. Gluten-free foods are ideal for people who are gluten intolerant but are not necessarily a healthy food option for everyone else while vegan foods simply do not contain animal products but are not necessarily rich in important nutrients.
If you want to be sure you are buying healthy foods, read the labels carefully to check for added sugars and actual nutritional value. Avoid processed foods as much as possible and shop for fruit and vegetables at a local farmer's market. Doing so will improve your overall diet and help you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy and lose weight.
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