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How do you decipher product labels?

by Lucy (follow)
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Label, reading product label, food additives


Do you stand for ages in the supermarket aisle reading the fine print?
Have you ever purchased a so called health food product only to discover it contained unwanted nasties?

Food products seem to have a growing list of ingredients, often with a complicated numbering system. So how does one decipher all that scientific jargon? Do you watch out for MSG (620 -625)? Or certain additives, preservatives or colorings? Perhaps certain "numbers" send your kids a bit loopy.

How do you decipher food product labels?

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Top Answers
When studying labels, we definitely avoid colors (102 - 175), sulphites (220 - 228) and Aspartame (951) as there is a mountain of research about the negative effects of these. Many bottled juice drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup or the equivalent to multiple teaspoons of sugar, so it's useful to check the sugar content of "healthy drinks". Also, some food products say they are "organic" however on closer inspection, there is nothing actually certified organic in the ingredients - so we tend to watch out for that one too. The list goes on, but I think it's something useful to be aware of.
by Lucy
In the UK a lot of products have adopted a traffic light coding system to let you know how much a serving has of RDA ingredients. Green means that there is a healthy quantity, while orange and red means that there is more is more than you really should be consuming in one sitting.
If there is more than 10 grams of sugar for every 100grams, I would avoid that product like the plague.
To know what is in the food you would need to go to ingredients. The product that they use the most is the first item, and they use the least is the last item. They also used coding for preservatives and may even use colors in the product. Most the time, if you are uncertain, you can decode those by doing a quick google search.
I look for the word " natural" on packaging. If it says
Natural colours and flavours it passes my natural
test. Then I look for something with high protein
and lower amounts of sugar. You'd be surprised how
many products are more than 50% sugar.
I don't tend to read the labels, as I don't really understand what they mean. The maximum I would do is check out the calories.
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