Many people who suffer from gluten intolerance and Celiac disease love the fact that awareness seems to be on the rise. “Gluten free” is even starting to show up on candy bar and potato chip labels in gas stations. But just because a food says it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. As with any other packaged food, you are responsible for checking the ingredient and nutrition labels for unwanted extras like additives, preservatives, MSG, and way too much sugar. If you suffer from diabetes, obesity, heart problems, or other health issues, you may want to watch the labels even in a health food store, since a healthier version of a cookie is still a cookie, no matter what. So, how do you tell if a food is OK or is just a pretty box with junk inside? First, if sugar is one of the ingredients, it’s a treat, not an everyday food. Next, for good blood sugar and good nutrition, you should try to choose foods that have more vegetables, proteins, and fruits instead of high carb fillers like flour and white potatoes. Third, the farther away the product is from the original food it came from, the worse it usually is for you. For example, blueberries raw or in a smoothie are amazing for your body, but a step down from that is blueberry in a cooked form such as a pie. It still looks like itself, but it’s been through some processing. The least nutritious, most fattening, and hardest to digest foods are ones that no longer look like blueberries and have been through several stages of processing. Most packaged foods in gas stations and regular grocery stores no longer resemble anything you could go out and pick from your back yard garden, so there’s no nutrition left in them. You’d be just as full and just about as nourished if you ate the box it came in. Of course you should enjoy your food, but that isn’t the main purpose of it. Food is our fuel. You can’t put water in you gas tank and expect your car to run, so why would you expect your body to run on fake fuel? You choose what you put in your body, and you’ll be much happier and healthier later if you eat healthy foods that are delicious instead of eating whatever as long as it tastes alright. Your wellbeing is worth more to those who love you than the five minutes of pleasure you get from eating junk. Just think about it.