Health and Nutrition

What’s in a name??? Learning to read food labels!

                So you know that I am trying to eat healthier.  More fruits and vegetables, way less sugar, that kind of stuff.  I have read labels for a couple of years now, but still stay confused about what I’m actually looking for on them!  First I was on the look out for fake sugars – and now added sugars.  Then I added high fructose corn syrup.  How many grams of fiber are there?  How much sodium?  It all gets so confusing!

                I’m trying to keep it simple.  No high fructose corn syrup.  Check.  No fake sugars.  Check.  If it has flour, does it have whole wheat flour?  I usually stop there, but sometimes compare brands to see which has the least amount of ingredients.  To my way of thinking fewer ingredients should equal less crap, right?  Recently I added MSG to my list of ingredients to avoid.  Sounds easy right?  WRONG!

                As I was reading a book on nutrition, I found out that there are other names for MSG including hydrolyzed protein, caseinate, soy extract and yeast extract.  It also includes meat tenderizer and Accent – both of which I avoid anyway.  But what exactly is Ajinomoto?  And how am I supposed to remember all these names???

My head is spinning!!!!  So back to the drawing board.  There must be some sort of food or snacks that I can have on hand for when I do not have the time (ok – just don’t want) to cook fresh from scratch.

                I did experiment with a new recipe.  I haven’t quite got it down pat, but I’m working on it.  I decided to make mini pizzas.  I used sandwich rounds that I had at home, pizza sauce that didn’t have any of the above words in them, salmon from the grill at Kroger’s, spinach, chopped purple onion and Daiya Vegan cheese shreds in mozzarella (not as bad as I feared!).  Threw all that together and popped it in the oven at 450 degrees.

Not bad.  Not great either, but not bad.  Next time, I will use some sort of tortilla (couldn’t figure out which type was healthiest!) because the bread got soggy.  I will also use chicken instead of salmon and leave the salmon for my salads.  Maybe add mushrooms.  So many possibilities!

 Here’s what it looked like before I popped it into the oven. 

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