What To Know About Food Labels

Food Labels & Our Food Supply

Today I want to talk a little bit about the food labelling and our food supply today.

Like I tell most people, don't trust the front of the packaging, because even though they put health claims on there that might be legal, to me they're not ethical, and it's too vague of a term. So, it's the impression of you eating a healthy product because of the claims on the front of the package, or a "healthy" looking design that really drives us and influences us on how we perceive our food supply.

The packaging of food has a long history, but it wasn't until 1994 that companies were forced to present standardized nutrition and health information on all food packaging, and terms like "low sodium" "high fiber" "reduced fat", they came up with that point and now they regulate it. The term "healthy" may only be used if a food meets certain requirements. The requirements such as low fat, low sodium, low saturated fat, low cholesterol and that it contains at least 10% of your daily value for certain nutrients.

With the recent proliferation of claims on packages, there have been claims that don't provide the full picture of the nutrition value. Unfortunately companies nowadays capitalize off the word "healthy". Studies have been done between two versions of a product and the way they look on the front as to who thinks they're eating something healthy, and the majority of studies show that you're really not eating something healthy even though you think you are. There are a lot of things that can be done to the front of the package, legally. I stress the word legally versus ethically.

Bottom line is, don't trust the adjectives on the package regarding your own health. Go to the label and look for the specific nutrient that you are looking for. The word "healthy" is too big of an umbrella term. They can say that about anything. It's like saying a retinol cream will make your skin better, but is there enough in it to really do it? Half the time that's what the problem is, is there not enough in it? But they can say it because it really is in there, it's legal.

So try to include more food that don't have labels on them. Your meat, produce, things like that. As it always has been true and it still is, stay clear of the center aisles of the grocery store. Walk around the outside because you are better off health wise in doing that than anything else. If you don't remember anything else, do that, and that will be the best for your health.

Ready to find out more?

As a Diabetes Educator and Nutritionist I help my patients cope with managing their diabetes - whether it's diet, nutrition, supplements, blood sugar, or pump therapy.

Please reach out and contact me if you need support, I truly understand. I live it every day. 

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