The 3 Letters To Look Out For On Food Labels

Woman checking food labellingAnyone looking to create a balanced, healthy diet for weight loss, weight maintenance, or simple health needs to know how to properly read a food label. Food labels are there for a reason, and too many people ignore them when they’re making their choices at the supermarket. The problem is, a lot of the time people aren’t sure what they’re supposed to be looking for, especially when ingredient names start getting too long to even pronounce.

Luckily there are a few quick tricks you can learn to make this whole process a little easier. One of my favorite tips is this:

Keep an eye out for ingredients that end with the letters “o-s-e.”

You see, spotting sugar on food labels isn’t quite as easy as it once was. Food manufacturers started noticing that consumers were becoming more discerning than those of even 10 years ago, so they starting doing everything they could to disguise sugar on their lists of ingredients.

So what do they call “sugar” instead?


The worst of the worst is high-fructose corn syrup. Seeing a pattern?

All of the above -ose words are code words for sugar. If you see them listed on the label, especially in the first 3 or 4 ingredients, guaranteed that product is probably LOADED with sugar. And you should be avoiding it. If a product contains any high-fructose corn syrup, you should just put it back and walk away. The invention of high fructose corn syrup is one of the leading causes of obesity today.

Understanding food labels can seem tricky at first, but the more you do it, the more you’ll begin recognizing ingredients, average percentages, and more, so you can spot when something is particularly high or low in a nutritional factor. In time, you’ll begin realizing just how much you were overlooking before, and you’ll be glad you’re able to make smarter choices.

For more help on reading labels, the FDA actually has some great info to help build your label-reading skills.

Sugar: The Fat Causing Nutrient

It is almost insane to think about the process of producing sugar. Humans utilize certain vegetables or sugar cane (both of which have a diverse array of health benefits) and reduce them to sugar without keeping a single one of their healthy attributes. The end product is an addictive, nutritional black hole of a food that can cause premature death and sickness.

Other stripped carbohydrates that are made in a similar fashion as sugar include white flour, wheat flour, semolina flour, white rice, malt syrup, maltodextrin, levulose, glucose, fructose,corn starch, dextrose, and more. These are one of the primary things that are causing the obesity epidemic across the nation. Sugar, as academic research has concluded, is the worst perpetrator. Men and women of this nation consume, on average, nearly 150 pounds of sugar every single year. That comes out to 173 grams every twenty-four hours.

Sugar SpoonHere is a quick exercise that will help you put this alarming number in perspective. Four grams of sugar is equal to about a single tablespoon of sugar. So when you are drinking a soda, which often contain as many as forty grams of sugar in a 12 oz can, you are drinking ten tablespoons of the stuff!

When examining sugar and its attributes, it is vital to keep mind that it brings about hunger cravings as it forces your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. The consumption of sugar spurs the release of insulin, a fat-storing hormone. Insulin converts this sugar into energy, and then stores the excess in fat cells located in places like your belly and thighs.

High levels of sugar consumption engender a host of health problems including, but not limited to, high blood pressure, obesity, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends that people who are hoping to lose weight consume no more than thirty grams of sugar per 24 hours. This is alarming for many people as a single can of a soft drinks contains 30% more sugar than this daily recommended value.