Have ever noticed, when you are in a store shopping for food, the number of people who are label-reading these days and paying more attention to what the ingredients are?
This is more than just a fad: We all need to take more control on educating ourselves about what we are putting into our bodies. Food — the right kinds of food — can be our best medicine.
Think about it in terms of the type of fuel or oil you put in your truck. I’m sure you want to put in the best products that will give you the best outcomes in milage, performance and endurance. This why it’s important to learn about reading food and drink labels, and most importantly, what to look for.
This can be a challenge for commercial drivers. When shopping at your favorite travel center when you stop to fuel up, food options can be limited.
Here’s a good rule to follow: If you can’t pronounce the words, avoid it. Also, look to see if the product is filled with additives. Generally, the shorter the number of ingredients, the less processed it is — and most likely, the healthier.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFC) is one ingredient to be aware of; try to stay clear of foods with HFC in them. It’s basically like sugar multiplied in your brain.
Next, watch out for the word sodium — this means salt! Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, eating high-sodium foods can make it hard to manage your levels. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is no more 2000 mg a day. That’s about one teaspoon of salt, so it’s important to read your label to understand the amounts.
Speaking of amounts, another rule to follow is to pay attention to the number of servings. Many items that look like one serving actually include two or even three or more servings per container or package. This is where many of us make a huge mistake in not calculating our caloric intake (if you are counting calories) and watching sugar.
And don’t forget your beverages. Always look at the nutrition facts panel on drinks; it can be quite shocking! One can of soda has about 28 grams of sugar. Basically, drinking a 12-ounce can of soda is like eating seven spoonsful of sugar — yikes!
Now, go out there and take control of your diet — and read your labels.
Known as The Trucker Trainer, Bob Perry has played a critical role in the paradigm shift of regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers to understand the driver health challenge. Perry can be reached at [email protected].
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.