What to look for on food labels this Thanksgiving

(WTNH) — As you go shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner items, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re putting into your body. Registered Nurse Barbara Ficarra reminds us to be vigilant about what we put in our bodies, especially with the impending holidays. Eating healthier is as easy as reading the food label.

Serving size is very important. Many people commonly overeat without realizing it because they do not read the labels. For example, the serving size of a bowl of cereal is only half a cup. Many people eat double or triple that amount.

Another tip is to avoid any product that lists sugar as one of the first 3 ingredients. Sugar can be tricky because there are 56 names for added sugar. Some of the most common names are:

  • Barley Malt
  • Cane Juice
  • Caramel
  • Corn Syrup
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Fructose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Malt
  • Rice Syrup


Whole grains can also be complicated. It is important to look for the word “whole” before the name of any grain. If you see the word enriched before a grain, it’s a sign that the grain has been refined, meaning it has been stripped of the germ and bran, which pack most of the grain’s nutrients including fiber. Multigrain, stone ground, cracked wheat, and seven grain are also not whole grains. Good sources of whole grain are:

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa

For more information on how to correctly read food labels or what ingredients are mistaken as healthy, visit barbaraficarra.com or click on the video above.


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