Sasja and I went on a group bike ride last night. These group rides always make a stop at a CVS for late night snacks or fuel if you don't have any. Seeing as how I only had 2 small meals for the day, barely putting me over roughly 1000 calories, I decided to buy a snack.
This is always the stressful part for me, because I would much rather just eat fruit. It requires no reading of labels, thinking of other foods I ate and so on. Yes, this is my process.
Anyway, I landed on these Larabar Bites (super delicious by the way). I turn it over immediately to scan the label. The FIRST thing I look for are the ingredients. I could care less about inaccurate calories, fat, etc. I just need to know I can read everything and I agree with it.
I start by looking at the first 3 because that's majority of the product - dates, almonds, semisweet chocolate chips. What does that tell me?
It tells me that this is going to be super sweet due to the dates and chocolate chips and fatty and high calories due to the almonds. Am I ok with that? I'm sprinting on a bike for 1 hour straight, so hell yes I am! I look on to see what else is added. It's under my 10 ingredient list requirement. That is a made up number for myself. It just tells me it's not overly processed.
But then I see sugar is added and it's the fifth ingredient. This is a Larabar, so I'm not surprised. Now I just know this added sugar on top of the fat and calories from the almonds means I'll be limiting my intake of this product.
So then I move to the Nutrition Facts. And there it is. Only 4 bites make up the serving size, which is 130 calories and 50 of that coming from fat, which is waaay too high. I have another judgement call to make. Considering the fact that on this particular day I only ate fat from one avocado, no nuts, seeds, or oils. I didn't make a big fuss about it.
Needless to say, I bought it and ate 2 serving sizes without thinking twice about it.
Why am I sharing this story?
1. To show that even us fitness professionals buy packaged foods. It may not be often in my case, but it happens.
2. When we do, we try to make an educated choice as much as possible and always have balance in mind.
3. ALWAYS ALWAY ALWAYS read the ingredient list FIRST. That will influence your buying decision the most.
Friday, I'm going into more detail into the Science Behind Reading Food Labels. In the meantime, you can check out the Facebook Live I did on this topic.
Dedicated To Your Success,
Strong 4 Pole, Owne