How To Read Food & Nutrition Labels For Anti-Aging – Zora Benhamou, Gerontologist

This episode is a recording with one of my Hack My Age VIP members from France discussing how to read food and nutrition labels to make healthier choices.

You’re a fly on the wall in the private discussion and may identify your own questions. Go to the YouTube channel to watch the video presentation.

Q: Can we eat sugar as long as we exercise?

A: Depends – where does the sugar come from? Whole foods? Fruit? Lentils?

Remember, these foods may increase blood sugar, but keep it in check. Exercise also increases blood sugar and cortisol. Add exercise, plus too many high glucose foods and this may be a problem.

However, exercise helps regulate blood sugar levels. Post prandial walk is a little “damage control”, but not a free pass to eat as much sugar and high refined carbs as you like.


Great for controlling blood sugar levels
Building muscle to burn more fat
Avoid chronic cardio or limit it
Start to lift heavy things, but with the help of a personal trainer
The more muscle we have as we age also helps keep the body together and avoid the pains that may come with loose ligaments and internal damage that can give pains in the body.


1. Short
2. Identifiable – you understand all the words
3. Low fat or sugar free – be skeptical
4. Check salt, sugar levels
5. Check serving sizes
6. Be aware of inflammatory oils


The largest quantity is labeled first
The least quantity is labeled last


If its highly palatable, be careful! It may contain too much sugar or salt. Read the label!


Anything ending in -ose (fructose, lactose, glucose…)

Fruit juice

Beet syrup
Organic sugar
Brown sugar
Rice sugar
Corn syrup
HFCS (High fructose corn syrup)


No room for these (aspartame, sweet n low…)
Zero calories, but they’re chemicals that destroy the gut, hijacks the brain and can increase sugar cravings.


Sugar alcohols – don’t raise blood sugar levels, but can still hijack the brain, so they must be used moderately (keep it to the very minimum!).

Some give gastric distress – usually sugar alcohols. Avoid if they give you GI issues.
Mimic sugar and often 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a drop or two or a small teaspoon

Stevia – plant, natural, safe
Sugars ending in -ol (Xylitol, Erythritol) – don’t pass through the digestive system and don’t go into the blood stream.
Keto recipes often use these sugars

Train your palate to use the least amount…of any kind of sugar.

Inulin – often in protein bars

Oligofructose – includes fiber, so that’s good.


Light – see low fat
Organic – means nothing
Low fat – tasteless, but may be necessary if doctor asks you to go non fat or low fat.
Often times taste is replaced with lots of sugar for flavor
Natural – means nothing
Multigrain – often refined
Wholegrain – ok if not celiac or gluten intolerant. Should say 100% whole grain and can see the little bits inside.
No sugar added – make sure it doesn’t include harmful sweeteners
Low calorie – only means it has 1/3 less of original product.
Low carb – beware of keto crap
Beyond burger – a treat, be mindful and not eat it regularly
Fortified – probably highly processed product and need to re-add the vitamins and minerals.
Gluten free – may include lots of sugar, inflammatory oils, highly processed foods.

Fruit flavored – read the amount of sugar per serving. May use fruit concentrate, takes out of fiber and then keep the sugar.
0 Transfats – only means it has less than 0.5mg per serving


Highly processed – cheap, plastic transparent bottles, low flavor
Beware of vegetable oils – canola, peanut, palm, sunflower, safflower, corn,
hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, soybean, margarine
Unstable molecules
Highly inflammatory
High in Omega 6 fatty acids – we already have too much of this.


Look for cold pressed, extra virgin and organic – that’s good! Go for healthier oils – coconut, macadamia, olive, walnut, but they can be expensive, so use less.

Be mindful to not allow your oils to smoke when cooking.

If you must use inflammatory oils, keep them to a minimum and use water when the foods start to stick to the pan.

Just because oils can be healthy for you doesn’t mean it’s a free pass for as much as you like.


Carbs that raise blood sugar and may be stored as fat.

Total carbs – fiber = Net carbs
Carbs that the body absorbs
Fiber doesn’t allow all the carbs to go into the bloodstream

Q: How many carbs to take per day?

A: Depends. We are all different. Try to keep carbs balanced with the other powerful source of energy, fats.

Women need more carbs for hormone regulation, but they need to be taken appropriately for your needs.

Save carbs for the evening for better sleep.
When you eat high carbs at lunch, you get sleepy.

Carbs release tryptophan, a precursor for melatonin.

Good to eat a small amount of carbs before bed to control hypoglycemia at night. Test yourself with a blood glucose monitor to find out.


It’s a tool to bring awareness
Don’t let it become obsessive


Website: Hack My Age

Instagram: @hackmyage

Facebook: @hackmyage

Clubhouse: Zora Benhamou (Club: Biohacking Women 50+)

Apple Podcast : Hack My Age


Patreon: Hack My Age – Become part of the VIP age defying community!

Hack My Age Newsletter for all the upcoming podcast interviews where you can sit in on the live call in a Zoom webinar.

This podcast is edited by @JonathanJK

This blog post is edited by Alison Copywriting


Standing out in the crowd of podcasts is a very hard thing. The only way to really grow is to have lots of reviews. 

If you enjoy the Hack My Age podcast, please help us grow by leaving a review on Apple podcast so that the voice of women over 50 can be heard.
Click here to watch the 60 second video on how to leave your review or give a star rating. Scrub to minute 0:30 and just watch the last 30 seconds.

Thank you all for your support!

Leave your comment


eighteen + six =