I used to go shopping and buy groceries without looking at labels. Now, I look at all the labels on all items. I looked at a bottle of lemonade, and it had 26 grams of sugar per serving. I learned that a female’s daily intake of “added” sugar should be no more than 24 grams. So, I had to walk quickly away from the lemonade.
Food label reading is an acquired skill that initially requires practice. Our goal is to provide guiding prin-iples to follow as you begin this important habit. A bit of extra time at the grocery store dedicated to reading food labels will be time well spent. It will not be a perfect process, but it can be empowering as you choose the foods and ingredients you will be consuming and thereby impacting your health and the health of your family. Even small changes can have a huge impact on health.
You may find that the following food items either do not have a food label or only have one ingredient listed on the label: fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, poultry, fish, bulk nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. A single listed ingredient often indicates a whole food that has not been processed. However, when purchasing boxed, canned, and prepared food, you will be confronted with more complex labels.
Taking time to compare the labels of similar products can have a great impact on your health once you learn to recognize ingredients and misleading label claims.When you think of peanut butter, imagine what ingredients you would expect to actually be in peanut butter. Most people would say ground peanuts. Yet, Popular Peanut Butter One has added sugar and a blend of three types of highly processed and poor quality hydrogenated oils.
The Nutrition Facts information is actually quite comparable between the two different types of peanut butters, but the level of processing between the brands is quite different. Popular Peanut Butter Two contains only two, simple ingredients. You wouldn’t be able to see that information just by looking at the numbers in the Nutrition Facts section.