Tip Of The Week #63: Food Labels Secret Code

MarkdownMom was trying to “organize” her papers recently if that is what shuffling and trying to weed out too many mailers, articles of interests, recipes, decorating tips, filling out bags to be recycle, can be called and  still ending up with too much “stuff,” but, hey, it’s hard to toss the good stuff, right?  Well, anyway, one of the articles that was actually clipped was written in 1991 by Judith Blake of the Seattle Times to help us decipher and read food labels to make more sense of nutritional value of the products we buy at the store.

In her article, Ms. Blake gave some general tips that should help consumers in getting a healthier choice for their grocery dollar:

  • Ingredients are listed in declining order by weight.  The main ingredient in its’ composition will be listed first.
  • If you are trying to control your sugar intake, sugar can also be listed as dextrose, fructose, total invert sugar and corn syrup–all forms of sugar.
  • Salt may appear as sodium, monosodium glutamate, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, NaCl, etc.
  • Generic  terminology such as “artificial flavor” or “artificial coloring” can be used for a number of specific flavorings or colors.
  • “Natural” has been used with no official definition and can mean almost anything, at present it is only regulated by the FDA as to poultry and meat.
  • Choose products with a nutritional list.  Nutritional information is especially important when the producer makes a nutritional claim.

Do you know the difference of lean, extra lean, free range, fortified, rich, and ingredients that may cause unknown, potential allergies?  For more information check out the following sites: WalletPop and  the FDA Food Labeling Guide.

What You Don’t Know Can Cost You Money & More!

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