Regulations behind food labeling is very complex. Most of the time foods exclaim what is missing more than what it contains. Front labeling their productions has “healthy” options containing no gluten, whole grain, or natural.
Don’t be fooled by the claims on the front by learning how to look at the ingredients list. First, product ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest amount. Meaning the first ingredient listed is what the product contains the most of. Try to choose items that list whole foods as the top ingredients and avoid foods with long ingredient lists, ingredients you can’t pronounce, or top ingredients that contain sugar, hydrogenated oils, and refined grains.
Second, review the serving size. Many items that look to have decent calories or nutrients are actually deceiving people by making you think the entire package in one service size, while in reality the portion size is generally smaller than most people would eat in one serving. For example, a can of soda will have 2 servings per one can. So you would need to double all calories and nutrients.
Third, sugar goes by many names. Learn them and avoid them when possible. Can sugar, invert sugar, corn sweetener, dextran, molasses, malt syrup, and maltose are just a few.
The big picture? Choose whole foods whenever available. The best way to avoid misleading labeling is to avoid manufactured foods. Whole foods don’t need ingredient lists because the whole food is the ingredient.
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Bios Nutrition Coach