Yeah I’m one of those people. I’ll pick up product after product, turn it over, possibly curse at it first, “where are the bloody ingredients?! Oh, there they are! Why do they make it so small?" And read, while everyone swishes past me.
Unless it’s a product I buy on a regular basis, I will read the nutritional information before placing it in my trolley (or back on the shelf). This is an important skill to have if you want to eat a healthy diet. But even more important for those who have specific dietary requirements.
Many of us think we know how to read food labels; however, it’s a lot more complicated than most realise. For example, picking up a product that has words such as ‘natural’, or ‘no added MSG’, or ‘lite’ are more often than not, completely misleading. They may be legal, but not really the whole truth.
So what do we pay attention to? Well firstly, please take those “claims” on label with a grain of salt. Or a grain of sugar if you have a sweet tooth. Be sceptical. Flip the product over and focus on the Nutritional Information Panel and the Ingredient List.
Label reading 101
Misleading Label Claims
Some Alternative Names for Sugar
Sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, fruit syrup, monosaccharides, disaccharides, malt, maltose, mannitol, lactose, brown sugar, caster sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, molasses, syrup, fruit juice concentrate, sorbitol, xylitol and modified carbohydrate.
Some High Salt Ingredients
Baking powder, celery salt, garlic salt, meat/yeast extract, monosodium glutamate, (MSG), onion salt, rock salt, sea salt, sodium, sodium ascorbate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium nitrate/nitrite, stock cubes, vegetable salt.
This is just a short overview of label reading. There is much more to understand that I can’t cover in a short blog post. I will be going into much more detail in my course. But for now, happy label reading 😊