Another Reason to Pay Attention to Food Labels

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

We’ve mentioned the importance of reading nutrition labels on food before. There are a number of reasons why you should read labels on food before you make a purchase.

One major reason is that many foods that look and sound healthy are actually quite the opposite. Thanks to marketing tricks, misleading language and public perception, many of us believe that certain foods are healthy for us when they’re actually anything but.

For example, Greek yogurt with fruit sounds healthy, right? However, many containers of sweetened yogurt contain numerous artificial colours and flavours as well as several preservatives. But that’s not the worst part. Many flavoured yogurts also contain a great deal of sugar.

Consider this: One serving of a typical Greek yogurt with fruit product contains 16 grams of sugar. The recommended amount of sugar for an average woman is about 25 grams of sugar each day. This means that a serving of yogurt has more than half of the recommended daily allowance. To avoid this issue, choose unsweetened plain Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit for flavour.

The same problem occurs with many fruit drinks. They are often filled with added sugars.

Reading the labels before you make a purchase can help you avoid hidden sugars.

Muffins are another food that appears healthy, but this isn’t always the case. Many store-bought muffins are essentially cake in the shape of a muffin.

In fact, a typical chocolate chip muffin from a popular doughnut shop contains 420 calories and 35 grams of sugar. A chocolate glazed doughnut from that same establishment? 280 calories and 19 grams of sugar.

The same holds true for many other foods. There are high levels of sugar, sodium and calories in many foods where you wouldn’t expect to find them. Marketing efforts to label foods as “all natural” or “fat free” make it even more confusing.

This is why it is so important to read the labels on the foods that you buy. You can’t trust the packaging or the appearance of the product. Instead, you’ll need to read the numbers yourself. 

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