Be Careful Reading Grocery Labels

Man Reading Grocery Label

Are you a label reader?  There are so many labels that are plastered all over various items in the supermarket that it's shocking when there's anything useful on those labels.  Are you aware that salt is gluten free?  Yes, it has always been gluten free, because it is salt.  Well, terms like gluten free, low-fat and whole grain, and even sugar-free are certainly all over the supermarket shelves.  Some of that information is really useful, but much of the rest of it can be misleading. 

Just because something is gluten-free does not mean that it is healthy.  Many gluten-free items are packaged to appear to be healthy, but gluten-free is not healthy by definition, it is just lacking a protein that causes inflammation in the guts of certain people.  Gluten-free foods can be high in fat, sugar, salt, and anything else, it simple must be free of gluten.  For people who do not have Crohn's disease, avoiding gluten is not necessary.

The term 'lightly sweetened' isn't regulated by the FDA, which means that this could mean anything.  “No added sugar” is the magic FDA approved label, and this means exactly what it says.

“Good source of fiber” is another non-regulated term.  This can mean anything from a lovely sprouted whole grain loaf to processed white bread with a fiber additive.  It's worth looking carefully at the label in this case to look at the ingredients.

“Made with real fruit” doesn't specify which fruit it's being made with, and it's not the same as 100% fruit, either.  It could have any quantity of fruit, from just a drop, to a lot.  Give this label the once over, too.  It is better, of course, to just eat the real thing and skip the processed versions altogether.



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