Food labels can be very hard to understand. This is can be one reason why it is hard to follow a good diet that is a healthy one. Yet, once you begin to understand what appears as a mystery when it comes to reading and understanding these labels, you will no longer have an excuse for not eating right.
Here are some tips that may help us all the next time we go grocery shopping and when we start comparing food labels.
This just simply means that the product contains no Trans-fat. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain any fat or any bad fat. It can contain many high calories and other types of fats that can still cause our arteries to become clog. Some of these products can include butter, cookies, candies, etc.
No sugar added
This does not necessarily mean that there are no sweeteners in the product. It just means that there is sucrose (white table sugar) added. There can be added sweeteners such as: sugar alcohol or high fructose corn syrup. The product can also contain a large amount of calories.
Free Range Meats
This does not necessarily mean that the animals had actual free range to an open field. It could just mean that they were raised in a barn where one of the doors was kept opened.
This does not necessarily mean that it is an organic product. It just implies that it came from nature.
100% Whole Wheat
These products do not always contain 100% whole grains. To be a surely whole grain product, it must contain at least 3 grams of fiber.
To be a good source of whole grain, the words whole grain should be listed as the first or second ingredient within the product.
Contains Real Fruit
This may just mean that it contains a drop of real fruit. The amount may not be significant. Again, read the ingredient list and noticed how far up the fruit is actually listed. If you want a great source of real fruit, eat real fruit.
Right now only the backs of food labels are actually regulated by the government. This means this is where we need to pay the most attention when we are reading these labels. The first place we should pay attention is the food list ingredient. The fewer items on this the better. The more items you can recognize by name, the better.
The government is trying to come up with better ways for consumers to understand these food labels. They are talking about using a coded stop light type formula or a number program of one to hundred to help decode the health benefits of foods.
For now, we just need to pay more attention to what we are reading and learn the sales gimmicks that some of these food producers are using.