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7 Ingredients Nutritionists Always Avoid

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7 Ingredients Nutritionists Always Avoid
If you see these ingredients on a food’s label, stay far, far away from it.
By Robin Hilmantel, Women’s Health
The Federal government announced plans to redesign nutrition labels back in February—but the proposed changes (which would highlight the amount of added sugars and bring serving sizes more in line with the amounts that people actually eat) have yet to go into effect. Until then, it’s especially important to analyze the existing labels on your own—and one of the key sections is the ingredient list. “Labels can be very deceiving, so beware,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., a Women’s Health contributor. “Read them carefully.” These are the ingredients that nutritionists look out for the most—and almost always steer clear of.
Artificial Sweeteners
"Yes, artificial sweeteners are void of calories—but their negatives surely outweigh their ‘zero-calorie’ claim to fame. The unfortunate truth is that these processed sweeteners have been linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and increased caloric intake throughout the day.Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes are up to 700 times sweeter than natural sugar and only make you crave more, while loading you up with chemicals." —Keri Glassman, R.D., Women’s Health contributor
Carrageenan
"It’s a thickener that’s often found in dairy and milk products, and I’m not convinced on its safety yet. So until it’s proven safe, it’s something I avoid." —Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., founder of B Nutritious
Caramel Color
"Though the research revealing the potential carcinogenicity of caramel color was done using animals, I still think it’s better to play it safe and avoid any products with this ingredient." —Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY Show and Founder of NourishSnacks
Trans Fats
"These are artificial unsaturated fats that are added to processed foods to increase shelf life. Unfortunately, they also increase your risk for heart disease." —Michelle Davenport, Ph.D., R.D., a Silicon Valley nutritionist
Sugar
"If it’s in the first three ingredients—in any form—I won’t buy the product." —Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., a wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
"I don’t love the very high sodium content that goes along with this ingredient." —Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
"High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a good indication that the food is highly processed with lots of added sugars. HFCS is not limited to sodas and sugary drinks, so don’t be fooled! HFCS is often in many multigrain breads, muffins, ketchup, and salad dressings." —Keri Glassman, R.D., Women’s Health contributor
(Adding my own comment regarding sweeteners, I use Truvia, the Stevia Leaf extract, and recommend it highly. It's all natural, no calories, and is actually sweeter then sugar. Also, there is controversy over MSG. Some experts are now saying it's not as bad as we think it is. Being a preservative and high in sodium, I personally don't trust it. None of this is written in stone, but common sense dictates most of it, if not all, is not good for us.)

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Many folks [ including myself] are allergic to MSG including hives and migraines. When cooked at high heat there is a possible cancer link. I loved Stevia [ Truvia ] because its a natural plant. However my last blood work was way off as if I was using real sugar. I stopped using it completely to see if my blood work returns to normal in October. If it is the cause it will be disappointing as the other sweeteners are either man-made chemicals or HFCS which has been linked to intestinal damage among other things :tongue:

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I'm sure I read somewhere that corn syrup is a major problem in the USA because (a) it's in almost all processed foods, and (b) it's higher in calories compared with other sugars. (And I seem to remember something about support for either corn growers or corn syrup producers, presumably because that's home-grown rather than imported - but I need to check some sources to be clear about that.)

On another forum, there was a discussion about making soups, and someone posted a link to what sounded like a great basic stock. I followed that link. I don't know about ingredient listing in the US, but in the UK the ingredient list goes from the largest amount to the least. The first ingredient in that "great" stock was salt! It really does pay to take heed of the ingredients.

It's not always easy to cook from scratch, especially when cooking for one. It can be oh so easy to just buy a ready-meal.

One of the current interests in the UK is the paleo diet, which is a very basic diet, but some people report beneficial health effects from that.

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labels can be confusing, and in the USA , the more consumers learn , the more food makers get to fiddle with the labels to make them more confusing again. Law makers except money for their campaigns to keep it so. My advice is use the internet to educate yourself [same with meds] and use slow cookers to make as much as possible as they take little watching.

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Labels are not only confusing, but incorrect as well. The public is so deceived. Like when they say, "No sugar added," that actually means that there's not sugar added to the sugar already in it. They don't have to list the sugar content if it comes from a concentrate. And honey, they can put "Pure" on the Iabel, but have to pay for the word, "Raw." Most honey has high fructose corn syrup in it, so reading the label is necessary before buying it. I could go on and on, and naturally would upset myself. It is so important to read all of the label, and, as Walkabout said, to research and study online.

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