My lifestyle was killing me and I knew I had to do something about it. I have learned that the best way to develop a healthy lifestyle is to discover the source of problem and then put a plan into action that will develop good health.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Smart snacking

Choosing healthy snacks means shopping smart. Be cautious of the health claims on food packages. Here are some things to watch out for.

Just because something is "all natural" or "pure" doesn't necessarily mean that it's nutritious. For example, "all natural" juice drinks or sodas can be filled with sugar (which is, after all, a natural ingredient) but all that sugar means they'll be high in calories and give you little nutrition.

A granola bar is a good example of a snack that people think is healthy. Although granola bars can be a good source of certain vitamins and nutrients, many also contain a great deal of fat, including a particularly harmful type of fat called trans fat. On average, about 35% of the calories in a regular granola bar come from fat. And there can be a lot of sugar in granola cereals and bars. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the package to be sure.

Be skeptical of low-fat food claims, too. If the fat has been eliminated or cut back, the amount of sugar in the food may have increased to keep that food tasting good. Many low-fat foods have nearly as many calories as their full-fat versions.

Whatever claims a food's manufacturer writes on the front of the package, you can judge whether a food is healthy for you by reading the ingredients and the nutrition information on the food label.