Reading Food Labels

I am amazed when I go to the grocery store and start reading the labels on the foods that I buy.  It started before weight loss surgery when I was having food allergy issues.  I was tested for numerous food allergies and found that I was allergic to many things like soy, wheat, eggs, and more.  I had a list of a bunch of food items that I had to remove from my diet for ten days and then I had to reintroduce those items back to my diet by eating the items for three days straight.  For most of the items, I did not elicit any allergic response, but when it came to soy, I broke out in hives, my throat got itchy, and I just didn’t feel well.

Have you ever tried to take soy out of your life?  Soy is in everything from bread to sauces, to things you would never expect like the green beans at the hospital.  Yup, once they put on my medical chart that I was allergic to soy, it eliminated every vegetable on the hospital menu except potatoes.  Now, why the heck do you need to add soy to the green beans?

My new reality is that I have to pretty much buy fresh fruits and vegetables or make it myself.  The bread I make does NOT contain soy, but after weight loss surgery I am not making bread since I can’t eat it right now anyway.

So back to reading labels.

I am amazed by the food labels that I read, and I read a lot of them lately.  The “Slim and Trim,” supposedly “Healthy” versions of many foods are the less healthy option many times when comparing them to their “regular” counterparts.  I look at the carb counts and the sodium as well as the sugars and types of fats and compare the numbers.  Many times, they jack up the sodium real high to add flavor back in that they take out when they remove fats.

Another thing is the “Sugar Free” versions which don’t technically have “sugar” in them, but they have “sugar alcohol” in them.  Many of the sugar alcohols end in “itol” like xylitol, sorbitol, etc.  When it comes to weight loss surgery patients who cannot digest sugars the same way anymore, the sugar alcohols will not only knock you down, but they will kick you while you are down as well.  I will write about “Dumping” in another post. Sugars can make you dump and it is a horrible experience to have to endure which feels like you are dying.

In looking at the food labels, be sure to compare different brands so that you can choose what is the healthiest version for your situation and food needs.  Compare the “sugar free” to the ones with “regular sugar,” the “fat free” with the “fat included versions.”  Compare the “diet” versions with the “non-diet” versions and look at the ingredient’s list, the portion size, and the dietary information chart.  Only you know what is best for you, so read, buy, eat, and enjoy.




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