When we are addressing our levels of self love alongside the food choices we make, we must consider our whole way of being in our world.
This means all of how we think, what we feel and how we act.
Along with watching the video and considering your thinking, feeling and doing in general, we invite you to pay particular attention to what you think about the food you want and deserve, to how you feel about the food you eat and how you act around food each time you engage with it.
Becoming conscious of your thinking, feeling and behaviour around food will help you to make more self loving food choices.
Note your responses to what you notice around your thinking, feeling and behaviour around food over the next few days.
When looking at a food label, first check out the serving size and servings per container. The current food label has been updated to reflect a realistic amount of food in each serving, however, food manufacturers can be sneaky, so it is always good to double check and make sure that your pack of chips is one serving, not 1.95….
Then check out the nutrients. Am I eating this food because it is something I am craving? If so, enjoy it and don’t worry about it being extra nutritious. However, if this is something like a salad or prepackaged sandwich that you want to have regularly for lunch, check what the nutrients are. Is it high in fiber, calcium, or iron? These nutrients are important for everybody, but especially for teens who are growing so much. 5 % of the daily value or less of a nutrient per serving means this food is low in that nutrient. 20% or more of the daily value for a nutrient means this food is high in a certain nutrient.
Next check for added sugars. Added sugars are added to a food during processing. They are different from naturally occurring sugars, found in fruit and vegetables (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugars include white or brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, and honey. It is important to limit added sugar, but not natural ones. Since fruits, vegetables, and milk contain many great ingredients, the natural sugars found in these foods are great fuel for your body.
Then check the saturated fat amount. It should be less than 10% of the calories. Also make sure the food does not contain transfat. If the food does not have an updated label, check the ingredients for words like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, interesterified soybean oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil. If a food contains less than .5 grams of transfat, it does not need to be listed on the label. If you are eating a cookie, and each cookie has some transfat, you can reach unhealthy levels of transfat if you eat 10 cookies. However, remember 1 or 2 cookies that you are really craving are totally fine on occasion.
Finally, make sure that the salt levels are low. Salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. We use sodium to transmit nerve signals and to control the amounts of water in our body. However, only a tiny amount of sodium is needed. We need no more than 1,500mg of sodium per day, or no more than 2 grams of salt. Over time, eating too much salt can lead to a water imbalance in the body and high blood pressure. One of the best ways to avoid eating too much salt is to eat fresh foods. Manufacturers love to add salt to food to enhance the taste. By checking food labels, you can help keep your salt intake in check.
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