One of the healthiest habits you can teach yourself is being more aware about what you eat and how you eat. Food is most commonly seen as a reward and form of enjoyment that we consume when gaining a craving. Although there is nothing wrong with that mentality, there is also an aspect that most people seem to overlook; and that is its nutritional content.
Food, snacks, and meals all have nutritional content that you should pay attention to every time you’re able to read a label. Everyone should be able to make decisions on what to eat, based on those nutritional values.
Youth in particular should be even more aware and active when it comes to deciding on what to eat. It is common for large corporations to target kids and young adults with product marketing, emphasizing taste and convenience over everything else. In fact, It is so common that the majority of children's cereal, snacks, drinks, etc. almost always have high levels of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and fats. Teaching yourself to ignore these promotions and instead be critical of the food you consume is a single step that could change your life for the better, the sooner you do it the better!
Here is an example of a purchase I made on a simple yogurt product recently, to demonstrate this idea.
When it comes to food I purchase (for the most part), I have three main criteria's; price, content, and alternatives. I essentially try my best to find the most healthy and tasty product for the best price.
Lets begin, personally I love dairy products so I started off with high expectations. I've never tasted this specific brand before but I was willing to try something new since I don't really eat yogurt to begin with. I chose the flavor I thought I would enjoy the most (cherry) and then examined the nutritional label.
6 grams of Protein is a good amount for such a relatively small serving, I wouldn't call it “protein dense” as I've seen breakfast bars with a higher density. However for yogurt this is very acceptable.
90mg of Sodium is very low, although most dairy products don't have a lot of sodium to begin with it is still worth the mention.
27 Grams of Carbohydrates is very high for this kind of serving, this is enough energy to last me throughout the morning. Very acceptable.
~80 cents, not much to say great price.
Vitamin D, Calcium, Potassium, and Vitamin A are all dense in this product.
Contains no High Fructose Corn Syrup, although it does contain Modified Corn Starch.
Small List of Ingredients, self explanatory.
19 grams of sugar, this is honestly an absurd amount in my opinion. 25% of the entire content of this yogurt is added sugar.
150 Calories, this amount of calories and whether or not it affects you depends on your physical shape and dietary goals. For me, this is just fine.
In conclusion I was very satisfied with this purchase, although there are other brands of yogurts (some of them definitely better) I think this purchase was overall very positive and mostly healthy.