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Grocery Shopping: Labels
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Because I got an early start this morning (thanks to a chorus of enthusiastic bird songs), I had time to stroll leisurely around Trader Joe's and read labels and really look at what I was buying.

My standard m.o. is to fly in the door, grab the usual off the shelves, push the cart through the checkstand, pay, and zoom home.

Today, though, I spent time looking at labels and evaluating ingredients. I found three things to which I have not been paying enough attention:

One, there is an incredible amount of salt in everything. Even that fresh, pre-cooked chicken breast. Sliced roast beef sandwich (don't eat them, but checked out of curiosity). Pre-made salads. Most nuts.

I'd be willing to bet the raw meat in the case was salt-soaked, too, but they don't have to put it on the label.

Each thing I looked at had the salt listed at 20-30% of the daily requirement per serving. The only exceptions were the fresh fruits and veggies, the juices, and the organic / vegetarian foods.

No wonder my cardiologist said it was imperative to reduce salt intake whenever possible, and that many times it would be impossible.

Two, the values listed on the label were "per serving." I checked a frozen package of enchiladas, two to a package, four servings. Whoever heard of half an enchilada being a serving? So in reality the person who ate both enchiladas (the majority of diners, I would guess) would have had 70 grams of carbs and 80% of the daily amount of salt. Just for one meal.

I bought unsalted nuts.

Three, I was astonished at how many foods had added sugar. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, the infamous corn syrup. Prepared dinners, prepared salad dressings, and on and on. Guess I'm going to have to go back to oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Working women have a choice between serving the prepared stuff or coming home after a full 8 hour day at work and preparing food from scratch. And don't even talk about fast food...I had Pollo Loco the other day and it was so salty I had to give it to the cats.

Of course, we can always spend our weekends cooking--after cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc. Why, there's plenty of time! Just remove sleep from the daily schedule. That's the ticket.

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