Is It Good for You? Labels Say It All
Less than two weeks left before the big race, are you sure you are eating well to prepare?
Last week, I wrote about the importance of eating breakfast before working out. I have another “client/trainer” conversation to begin this week’s column.
CLIENT: I am really being good. For our long car ride, I am bringing carrots, celery and these “natural crackers” that I love. That’s good, right?
ME: What is the nutritional information on the crackers?
CLIENT: I don’t know.
The point of relaying this brief conversation is the importance of reading nutritional labels. I have mentioned before that I am not a nutritionist. I am, however, well read in the area of nutrition and understand the importance of knowing what I am putting in my body and my children’s bodies.
Food does not get put into my cart at the store without my reading the label. Now, don’t get me wrong, that does not mean you will not find cookies, ice cream, chips, etc. in my house. You will. What you will not find, though, are ingredients such as the following: hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. Nor will you find white bread, cereals with over 10 grams of sugar per serving or foods with ingredient lists as long as the package they come in.
I was brought up learning that you are what you eat. I have two mottos when it comes to food choices: “the more natural, the better” and “everything in moderation.”
Providing nutrition labels on packaged foods became the law in the United States in 1994. They were put there to help us understand what we are putting into our bodies. How many calories? How much fat? How much sodium? Sugar? These details are important to our weight and more importantly, our overall health.
How can you know that you are eating the right foods without understanding what the foods you are eating contain? Here is a great website: www.mypyramid.gov. Developed by the USDA, on it you can learn about the nutritional values of food, create food plans, and track what you eat, just to name a few resources.
Another great resource on that site is the ability to track your activity. For instance, you could track your performance at the upcoming 2-mile fun run/fitness walk, Running 4 Answers, on Saturday, April 2. Doing the 4-mile race that day would only increase the number of calories burned!
There are less than two weeks left before the second annual Running 4 Answers. Benefitting Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (www.curealzfund.org), it is a great way to help raise awareness of this horrible disease and spend a morning with your family.
Please check out our website, sign up to run or walk, make a donation or spread the word. Details at www.running4answers.org.