Healthy Food has no Nutrition Labels

Healthy food doesn’t have nutrition labels.

There is so much talk about learning to read nutrition labels and to always compare the labels of different foods when deciding what to buy. Here is something to think about…healthy food doesn’t have nutrition labels.

(Let me note that there are exceptions to this rule and I will get to them for sure!)

Here is the easiest thing you can do in the grocery store: choose the food that is label free.

Let’s think about it for a moment. Fruit and vegetables – no nutrition labels. Meat and seafood – no nutrition labels. Fresh bread and grains – nutrition labels.

There is a key word in the last section that is the real message I am attempting to convey. Fresh. The healthiest food in the world for you is fresh and non-packaged.

Sure, there are exceptions. Most dairy has to be shipped and stored and anything put in a package is required to have a nutrition label. So it is healthy and has a label.

But if you are sitting here reading this and your only thought is attempting to come up with as many examples as you can to disprove my theory, well, good for you! But you are missing the entire point of what I am getting at.

There is no magic secret food. If you want a perfect diet with no calorie counting, not having to watching what you eat, and no concern for portion sizes, I am about to give it to you. Eat only fresh, whole food.

Fresh veggies, fruit, meat and poultry, dairy, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. If you only eat food off that list and make it all fresh and unpackaged, I promise you will change your life.

I know you are worried about time and that my solution would require you to shop every few days. That is my message. Our North American dedication to mass storage and minimal work is amazing. We love to shop once a month and stock up on everything we need so that we can make it to the next excursion. Packages fill our pantries, cupboards, fridges, and freezers. We package crackers, soup, vegetables, fruit, fish, frozen dinners, bread that lasts for weeks, and cookies are just a small number of examples of our packaged nutrition.

I accept that there is healthy food in packages. Peanut butter, bags of brown rice, and beans are some examples. But in an ideal world you would buy the rice fresh from the farmer, grind out your own peanut butter, and cook raw beans (which can take a long time!).

The point I am getting at, however, is that healthy food is fresh and you cook on your own. It is our reliance on packaged options and food that is convenient that is truly contributing to the declining state of our populations physical (and I think mental) health. Why spend 25-30 minutes cooking whole brown rice when we can microwave pre-processed rice in a matter of minutes?

If you want to eat healthy remember that healthy food doesn’t have nutrition labels. Eat fresh, whole foods as often as you can. Minimize the packaging and the processing and you will be well on your way to taking better care of yourself.

What is a simple way to accomplish this? Shop the outside of your grocery store and buy as little as possible from the aisles. Think about it, you would be shopping for meat, dairy, fresh breads, fruit, and vegetables. What do you find in the aisles? Packaged crap (for the most part). 

There, my simple tips to eating healthy. If you need things more simple then that go to a fast food drive through because you are not ready to take care of yourself and you might as well enjoy the really crappy food before your diabetes sets in or you have your first heart attack, after that your choices become a lot more limited.

6 thoughts on “Healthy Food has no Nutrition Labels”

  1. Hi Taylor – I agree with you about the healthy foods not having nutrition labels, and that there are exceptions to this, such as the examples you listed of peanut butter and brown rice. Other examples would be oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil, store-bought hummus (I know it’s probably better to make your own, but mine never turns out!) and other nut butters like almond butter. These are all healthy foods that come in containers or bottles and also have nutrition labels.

    So, moreso than a comment, I’m wondering what you would recommend as a good salad dressing for all those fresh veggies so that I don’t have to buy a bottle of pre-made dressing? I made my own salad dressing yesterday consisting of a mixture of flaxseed oil, extra-virgin olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, minced garlic cloves, spices like oregano, and a tsp of dijon mustard. However, it didn’t taste that great – too much like vinegar I think. I had to choke it down. Any suggestions?

    I’m also wondering about fish – I was a vegetarian for 12 years and just recently started eating fish, but am not sure what to put it on it to make it more palatable. I’ve tried lemon juice and dill, but it didn’t really ‘do it’ for me.

    Thanks for your post – I’m a fitness instructor myself and am trying to shed some weight, and your post reminded me that unpackaged, unprocessed, FRESH foods are always best.

    I’m really enjoying reading all of these posts by the way, and hope to try out your classes, and perhaps a personal training session at your studio soon!

    P.S.I think in your 5th paragraph, you meant ‘fresh bread and grains – no nutrition labels (you left out the ‘no’) 🙂

  2. I cant tell a lie here, well I never do hide anything. I can not be much help on the salad front as I never eat salad! It has never been my thing and I actually only ever eat salad if I am somewhere it would be somewhat rude to refuse it!

    I eat veggies and fruits and a variety of other whole grains so I still get my vitamins, minerals, and fibre. So really I dont feel the need to eat salad. It is a convenient way to add some healthy stuff to your life, however, expecially if you enjoy it! The dressing you concoted sounds about the healthiest salad topping I have ever come accross!

    Hopefully someone else reading these posts will be able to provide some salad help for you!

    Fish I find really depends on the type of fish you are eating. I stick mostly to salmon and actuall y cook it in lemon juice and garlic, which I love!

    One of my favorite ways to have fish is to smoke it on the BBQ with a cedar plank (can get them at most grocery stores). Directions are usually with the plank.

    I used to make a great fillet of sole…take the sole fillets and coat them in whole wheat flower before cooking them in a pan with olive oil and some fresh garlic. This one took me a few tries to figure out how to do it the best as teh flour needs some more cooking time. Baking it can solve that problem!

    And if you just cant do fish then dont eat it! 🙂 Get a high quality fish oil supplement (make sure its a good one or you will be burping up fishy taste all day) and get your protein from other, more palateable sources.

    Look forward to seeing you in class, first ones always free!

  3. I’m not a big salad fan either, but I’m trying to eat more spinach, and although it tastes O.K. sauteed in olive oil and garlic, the consistency sometimes gets to me, so I prefer to eat it in a salad. I just have to work out the dressing, as raw spinach leaves and mushrooms aren’t exactly tasty. Maybe I just need to use less balsamic vingear and add a few more spices!

    As for fish, I just had a salmon steak tonight and nearly gagged a couple times. It had skin on it still, and a bone – bleech! It was pretty tasty though with lemon, dill, and a bit of tzatski. I have a hard time with fish oil supplements (getting them down). I think I just need to get used to the idea of eating fish (psychologically).

    But, I shopped the perimeter of Loblaw’s tonight and the only aisle I went down was the baking aisle for some pinenuts! I’m making pesto – yum! Thanks Taylor, and yeah, I look forward to checking out your gym soon.

  4. I find so many people get stuck in a rut when they think of salad. To me salad is not lettuce in a bowl with dressing, although I would still find it appealing. A salad is basically anything you enjoy ontop of some variety of greens. If spinach isn’t your favourite try mixing it in with one of the other greens you do enjoy. Some lettuce or romaine added in might make it crispier for you. Another thing I find important for salad is some good toppings. I mix it up between ones that are providing some nutritinal benefit with ones that I really enjoy. Most of my salads will have some sort of meat on it and this varies depending on the salad. The other ingredients that add a lot of flavour are cheese and nuts. Now we all know they are higher in calories and primarily in fat. One of the ways I keep the fat count down is to only add a little but pick a strong flavour such as goat’s cheese or blue cheese.

    I don’t know if I can help you out on the dressing front since I recnetly have just gone to using balsamic vinegar on its own seeing as I had other fat sources in my salads. I really like like balsamic. Red wine vinegar might be another option and I’ve also done salads where I put beans, chedder and salsa as the dressing. Hope tthis gives you some salad insperation.

    As for the fish one of my favourtie things to do with it is have it on a salad!!! I really like to do salmon with salt and pepper and then make a salsa wtih mango, red pepper, red onion, cilantro, chili pepper and red wine vinegar. Then put all of this ontop of some spinach or mixed greens. Mmmm I’m getting hungry now!

  5. Hey!

    I agree, making your own food tastes and feels far more satisfying, it’s a near guarantee that you won’t even want to go back to pre-packaged foods. However, if you’re going to buy and eat fresh food without labels, why not buy it at a LOCAL farmer’s market?!?! Support COMMUNITY food providers and look and feel way better! Nothing is more satisfying than having an actual relationship with the person who has grown or made your food, it’s a link that many of us have lost in the convenience of globalisation and Food-Marts.

    Just a small push in the name of the environment. Don’t think you’re getting off so easy of my environmental rants just because I’ve up and left Kingston, Mister!!!

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