Simple Tips On Reading Food Labels

How Do You Know If The Food You Buy Is Healthy?

Get out those readers (or magnifying glass) and read your food labels.
It may be hard to identify ingredients that you want to reduce in your diet to keep healthy. What do all those words mean? How do you know if something has a lot of sugar? How do you know if it’s healthy or not? Here are some basic tips.

1. Do not be fooled by the front label as they will try to lure you into purchasing products by making health claims. Research shows that adding health claims to front labels makes people believe a product is healthier thus affecting consumer choices. I know I have been fooled before and always have to keep reminding myself to get out those readers!(or magnifying glass 😀) Or – take a picture and zoom in. I do this when I forget my glasses.

2. Lookout for these words and be careful and question any product that uses them:

  • Natural
  • Healthy
  • Light
  • Multigrain
  • Made with whole grains
  • Low fat – the fat has been reduced at the cost of adding more sugar and sodium to enhance the flavor. Low fat is not always good.
  • Fruit flavored – The product may not contain any fruit — only chemicals designed to taste like fruit.

Many marketing terms are associated with improving your health and are often used to mislead consumers into thinking that processed foods are good for them.

3. Be weary if the list is quite long and loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Most likely these are highly processed foods and more unhealthy ingredients or highly processed ingredients that remove natural components.

If the first ingredients include a type of sugar, refined grains or hydrogenated oils, you can almost assume that the product is not very healthy.

4. Know your sugars: There are so many other words used for sugar. Here are some to be on the lookout for: high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses and words ending in “ose” (think glucose, fructose, maltose and galactose).

In summary, many healthy foods are ‘organic’, ‘whole grain’, or ‘natural’, but just because a label makes certain claims, doesn’t guarantee that it’s healthy for you. Read your labels! 🔎❤️👓


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