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Three Reasons To Read Ingredient Labels

Updated on August 16, 2013
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© 2013 Express10

The main reason to read ingredient labels is to understand what is actually in the product you are purchasing. This is particularly important for foods and grooming items as they will either be ingested or applied to the skin but also for items such as air fresheners and household cleaners that you and your family will likely be breathing in. Did you know that a variety of studies show that chemicals build up in babies' urine, but not all of these chemicals are expelled from their little bodies. Even if the child is expelling a portion of the chemicals, there is likely to be a buildup within their body from a very young age. The same applies to adults.

A variety of toxins are also stored in our fat which should be a concern no matter if we have direct or indirect contact with a toxin. When we lose fat, the toxins are distributed to other areas. Quick loss of fat means more toxins released in a shorter amount of time. As adults, we continue to accumulate toxins from a variety of sources burdening our immune systems particularly if we are not eating well, getting enough rest, limiting stress, and exercising. I am not trying to make you paranoid just more aware of what you are putting into or on your body or bringing into your home. There is need for some level of concern, there is no way that anyone can avoid all toxins and some do not pose a problem below certain levels.

The Second Reason To Read The List Of Ingredients

The second reason to read ingredient labels is that you will be able to reject products that don't meet your standards. Products that contain excessive amounts of sugar, preservatives, fat, and chemicals are increasingly being rejected by consumers due to their ill effects on our waistlines and overall health. But, you should also know that many sneaky manufacturers are increasingly using vague terms, catch all phrases, and other tactics to move their product and keep consumers in the dark. There are instances where the common name of an ingredient has been changed to another "less tainted" name to fly under the radar of consumers.

Some manufacturers also refuse to list every ingredient that they use, and will often use the excuse of there being a lack of space on the container. Even in the instances where this is the case, these same manufacturers refuse to provide literature or an online list of their ingredients. This behavior begs the question, what are they trying to hide from the consumer? Still, there are some manufacturers who don't list anything at all. If the information cannot be easily obtained, try looking up the product on the Environmental Working Group's website and you may find out what is in the item.

The Third Reason To Read The List Of Ingredients

The third reason to read ingredient labels is so you may figure out how the item will fit into your diet, medication, or other regimen. Some ingredients don't combine well with others when preparing meals. Even if it is not a grooming or skincare item you may be allergic. You also need to have instructions on proper use if it is an item that could be used in a harmful manner. Products such as household cleaners can linger in your lungs and it is very important to understand how to properly use them, ventilate the room, and know exactly what ingredients are in the cleaners.

There are non-toxic household cleaners available often at a somewhat higher price or you can make your own non-toxic cleansers using ingredients such as baking soda, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. In addition, there can also be changes to the product at any time that you may not otherwise learn of if you do not read the label. Some of these ingredient changes can affect your health. A good example of this are the recently changed warnings on painkillers that can be purchased over the counter. For you and your family's health and safety, it should become a habit to read the labels even if you've purchased the item before.

If you are concerned about the levels of toxins in your home, food, or products that you use, make an effort to inform yourself about the foods and products you use. Get proper nutrition, exercise, and rest in addition to weaning yourself off of using products that cause concern. While you might still get some exposure to toxins or allergens elsewhere, at least when you get home you are not adding to the problem.

© 2012 Express10

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    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 5 years ago from CT-USA

      Excellent hub. I agree, labels need our consideration. I have a rule that if I cannot understand the first 5 ingredients listed-it doesn't make the final cut into the cart. Nice job.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      Interesting and informative hub, and well written. I am guilty of rarely reading labels but know that I should. I hate shopping with a passion, so my main goal is to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. I'm sure we put way to much faith in the FDA when it comes to protecting us from food products. When I have read a label, I rarely have a clue what most of the ingredients really are. Great hub and I learned something.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks. Good rule to have and follow. Our health and safety is ours and ours alone. Those manufacturers that don't contribute lose profits of the more informed consumers.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I completely agree with you. I am a young woman and I used to love shopping, now I tire of it quickly. It seems the FDA is MIA.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Express10 what an informative and useful Hub :)

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks Frank. I know that we cannot avoid some things, but for those I can avoid, I do.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this hub, it will help me. After my surgery I was, and still am under weight. I need to gain weight, but it needs to be healthy. I have not been reading lables, but now I am going to. Thanks for this hub.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for stopping by. To learn more about ingredients and possible side effects and health concerns, google the ingredient name. I hope you get back to a healthy weight and feel great.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you, I am trying very hard. Thanks again I will google the side effects, I am very glad I am following you. So many people have been saying "Oh, have a milk shake" I know that is bad. I don't want to become diabetic. Just healthy

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Having a milk shake can't come close to providing anything that we need, only the sweet flavor we crave. You are a very smart lady.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I need to read labels on everything. I have food and seasonal allergies but I forget that grooming products have other additives that are detrimental to your health. Great hub!

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      I have used face washes that have irritated my skin and hair products that actually made my scalp shed dandruff. As soon as I stopped using these particular items, the problems were gone.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Sounds advice, many of the 'diet' or 'low fat' options only contain worse chemicals to create the flavor.

      Thanks, SOCIALLY SHARED.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks. You are right about chemicals in flavorings. The same sweet tasting chemical also used in antifreeze is the first to come to my mind.

    • bookerboy profile image

      bookerboy 5 years ago from Ireland

      I'm always on the look out for gluten, sugar and salt - but I never really gave chemicals a thought...ok time for more research - great hub!

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