It’s a dilemma consumer face every day. Are they getting the nutrition that their body needs? Reading the nutritional information on a box, can or container can often be misleading and confusing. How can you ascertain if the food you’re consuming is nutritious? Today the word “healthy” appears on many foods, and takes on many connotations.
The only avenue a consumer has for determining if a food is nutritious, is to read the label on the container it’s packaged in. Looking beyond the label offers insight towards providing nutritional information that suits an individual’s lifestyle and needs for maintaining a healthy body.
Terms like “fat-free,” and “sugar-free” suggest they don’t contain harmful fats and sugars, but when delving deeper into reading the label, most consumers will still find sugar and fats present. Often these ingredients are swapped out for other artificial ingredients which are just as harmful as sugar, fat, gluten, coloring, and binders.
Below we have listed four elements consumers should know when reading a nutrition label to decide if the food they are buying is really nutritious.
1. Read The Ingredient List
Read the entire label. The order of how ingredients appear on the label indicates the quantity in the food. Should wheat, fat, and sugar appear at the top of the list, then they make up a majority of the food’s nutritional value, which is not nutritional at all.
2. A Lengthy List Spells Trouble
If the label list seems never-ending, then it’s a sure bet that the food isn’t nutritionally sound. Should you see unrecognizable terms or words you can’t pronounce, it’s an indication that there’re artificial additives introduced into the formulation. Artificial additives aren’t nutritionally sound for the human body. If you need a dictionary to read the label, put the item down and move on.
3.Certain Fats Are Good
While many think of fat as being bad for you, actually it is an essential nutrient. An uneducated label reader may see high fat content and refrain from purchasing it. The truth is, certain fats are good. It’s the type of fat consumers must be aware when reading labels. Trans fats are bad while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good.
4. It’s Got To Be 100%
Even if the bread label states “Whole Grains,” it must say 100% if it doesn’t, it’s got refined grains mixed in during baking. The same holds true for juices. If it’s not 100% real fruit juice, then they are selling a sugar-added product.
Also be aware that the only label designation approved of and regulated is the term Organic. Anything can say Natural without it actually being so.