Do you know how to read a label?

Do you know how to read a label? – Probably not

It seems there’s very little understanding about labels.  Even Googling “food labels” yields relatively poor generic results.  Mostly labels focus on just calories but we are discovering is that even calories don’t mean much.  See the following great resources:

Gary Taubes’s incredible work: Good Calories Bad Calories

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Gary-Taubes-ebook/dp/B000UZNSC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457569367&sr=1-1&keywords=good+calories

and

Jonathan Bailor’s Calorie Myth

http://www.amazon.com/Calorie-Myth-Exercise-Weight-Better-ebook/dp/B00Q33ZRUQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457569403&sr=1-1&keywords=jonathan+bailor

What’s inside of the food beyond energy measurement is what really matters.  Carbohydrates, carbs for short, provide one piece of the puzzle to how our bodies recognize food and utilize it for energy and metabolism.  However, the story isn’t all about energy. Carbs contain vital matter that is used by bacteria and digestive processes to move what we consume through our bodies.

 

Let’s look at a label:

Label

Total Carbohydrates for Chicken Noodle Soup is:

Total Carbs = 8g

Dietary Fiber = 1g

Sugars = 1g

 

In this post, I hope to help improve our understanding of Fiber in the carbohydrate story.

 

First, fiber is important because it actually provides the fuel and infrastructure for digestion itself.  Without fiber, we lose our ability to feed bacteria in our guts and also material will sit in our intestines for longer than necessary causing potential build up of wastes.  However, too much can cause bloating and gas.   The importance concept to grasp in this article is that the amount of fiber to carb ratio will help to determine it’s sugar load on the body.   Ideally, you want to avoid foods high in carbs along with high sugar and low fiber.  Fiber is essential for helping to regulate the sugar impact on the body.

 

For example,  let’s look at a Bonk Breaker bar.

Bonkbreaker

High amounts of carbs with relatively low amounts of dietary fiber.  However, sugars are too high either so quite misleading.  Where is the rest of explanation?

It seems most of mystery is hidden in area of definition that producers don’t need to necessary break out.

 

In contrast, let’s look at a Picky Bar

PickyBar

 

This bar has 28g Carbs and 22g Sugars and only 3g Fiber.   Whoa.   A lot of sugar without fiber.  Something to be aware of.

Lastly,  let’s look at a Exo Protein bar and see what it shows us:

image007

 

Total Carbs = 22g

Sugars = 6g

Fiber = 12g

Nice.    I think you’ll see that the ingredient profile with Chicory root fiber along with almonds helps keep this bar in a ideal place for energy and digestion.

Please post any questions you have on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FTMnutrition

 

Ben Morris

Ambassador Athlete @ FeedTheMachine.com

 

 

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