You Are What You Eat – But Remember to Read the Product Label First!

You are what you eat. This age old phrase has been uttered in the nutrition field for so many years, it has essentially become one of its core values. But with so many choices to pick from, do we really know what we are putting into our bodies?

I think back to the beginning of my health journey, and realized that through lots of trial and error, I have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge, particularly in the realm of reading product labels. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry we can begin at your local grocery store where you make your weekly grocery shopping trips for all the food that ends up in your body.

Maintaining a well balanced diet is a noteworthy goal to strive for. We all know that too much of anything can be suboptimal for our bodies, especially so if we eat too much sodium. You read the ingredient label on your favorite soup, and you’re relieved to see that it’s only 35% of the daily sodium intake. Yay!

Lesson #1: Always check the “serving size” of the product. More often than not, products contain multiple servings, which means all the nutritional values may be misleading because they only represent 1 serving. For your favorite can of soup, there may be 2 servings, which means you’ll actually be consuming 70% of your daily sodium requirement from that one can alone!

Another thing to remember is to limit the amount of trans fat you consume. Trans fat is not naturally occurring, so your body doesn’t recognize it. As a result, it accumulates in your body readily, and it is extremely hard for your body to excrete it. You diligently look at the product label for your favorite brand of cupcakes and see that it has 0g trans fat. Yay!

Lesson #2: Manufacturers are allowed to label products containing between 0 to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving as “0 grams.” So, beware! This is when you look at the ingredients list to see if there are any sources of “bad fats or oils”. Some examples would be anything that has “hydrogenated” in it. Try to pick foods with healthier fats, such as avocado oil, butter, or olive oil.

I remember on one of my grocery trips, I was craving some cereal for breakfast. In the cereal aisle, I was met with a multitude of choices, a whole wall with 5 rows of boxes that came in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Let me tell you … I was extremely overwhelmed. After 20 minutes, I was finally able to narrow it down to my top two choices, but this led me to my next problem. Both Cereal A and Cereal B had roughly 10 ~ 12 of the same ingredients, the only noticeable difference was the order of the first three ingredients.

Brand A: wheat, oats, sugar
Brand B: sugar, wheat, oats
EXCEPT Cereal A was 50% more expensive! Does this mean Cereal B is the obvious choice?

Lesson #3: Food manufacturers are required to list all ingredients of a product on the label. However, ingredients are listed in order of most to least amount used. Shocker right?! This means, even though Brand A and B have almost the same ingredients, you would end up eating much more sugar if you chose Brand B, which is not what we want.

The amazing thing about Eversio Wellness is their transparency. This is shown by the way everything is clearly labeled on all of their products. If you look at the small icons found on all of the packaging, you will see that Eversio Wellness’s products are manufactured in a GMP certified facility in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. All of the mushroom are organic, however, the USDA symbol is not seen on the capsule products because there is yet to be an actual vegan capsule that is USDA organic certified. If you look at AWAKEN, the USDA organic symbol is on it because this product is not packaged in capsules and comes directly in a powdered extract form. Everything is non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan. 3rd party testing happens at SGS Vancouver where the products go through rigorous testing for heavy metals, microbiologies and also have secondary metabolites certifications of compounds of interest like cordycepins in cordyceps and b – D glucans. Most importantly, beta – d glucan amounts are clearly listed with more than (200 ~ 500mg) 55% per a serving. This is incredible because if you look at other mushroom products that are available, the beta – d glucan amounts are much less (some even as little as 25 mg). Since beta – d glucans are responsible for the powerful medicinal actions of functional mushrooms, Eversio Wellness is without comparison, the best choice.

Take this newfound knowledge you learned today and go make empowered and better choices for yourself because … you are what you eat!

Written by: Dan L. – 2nd Year Student of Naturopathic Medicine, CCNM

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