Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Read labels!

My husband and I have been using a program called Daily Plate on Livestrong.com to track our calories in and out as well as see the percentage of protein, carbs, and fat we consume each day.  I am usually quite conscious when I do the grocery shopping to scan the labels. I don't want to eat a bunch of ingredients that I can't even pronounce (well, besides quinoa but who can remember how to say that one anyway...?)  I typically shop the perimeter of the store and spend the majority of my time and money in the produce and meat sections.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Giant Eagle and saw that frozen Honeysuckle turkey burgers were on sale. I didn't check the label because hey, it's a turkey burger...what could be bad about that, right? In my defense, I was also shopping with the 2 smallest kids and was in a bit of a hurry.  Last night, we ate those turkey burgers. About an hour after dinner, while tracking his dinner on the computer, my husband commented that his fat percentage was higher than normal.We checked it out and the Honeysuckle turkey burgers had 17 grams of fat each (and he had 2 because he is trying to gain and get some extra protein to build muscle). That's 34 grams of fat from his main dish alone! Yikes!

I knew we had eaten turkey burgers in the past, so we quickly looked through our meals to see why we had never noticed this before. AHA! Last time, we had gotten Jennie O brand. *LOL* For those of you who watch "Biggest Loser" you probably saw all the product placement they do for this brand. It made me giggle when I realized that they were right - what a stark difference when it comes to their nutrition labels.

Honeysuckle brand
  • 240 calories
  • 17 g fat
  • 210 mg sodium
  • 20 g protein
Jennie O brand
  • 160 calories
  • 8 g fat
  • 80 mg sodium
  • 22 g protein

I don't intend for this post to be an ad for Jennie O (because you know they certainly aren't paying me...) but it is an "ad" for the importance of reading labels. When you go to the store next time, take a look at what you are putting into your body. And, try tracking for a bit to see if that helps you to target some problem areas. I didn't realize how much extra water weight I was carrying around until I started tracking and saw that my sodium was nearly double the recommended amount each day.

Good luck to all of you and have a healthy happy day!

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