Decoding Nutrition Label Claims

Hey you all!

GOOD morning!

How are you all feeling? I am in need of even more sleep than I thought possible….but more on that tomorrow (all about recovery from this race). 😉

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Shopping at the grocery store can be a daunting feat for anyone–not just those mothers who are juggling kiddos, purses, phones, lists, and her sanity.

I went to the store the other night (yes, I am the one who goes all gross & sweaty after teaching a class to the store), and I was slightly hungry. So of course I spent an inordinate amount of time scouring the aisles and boxes of items I thought I could need. (How to read nutrition facts labels)

{Side note: when I shop with my husband, we’re in and out in like 7 minutes flat. That man does not like checking all the different stuff out.}

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To be honest, I have to be in the mood to grocery shop. Usually I hate it, but sometimes I like to diddy dally my way around the store.

Well, have you checked the aisles lately?! There is good stuff, crappy stuff, delicious stuff, very artificial stuff, and super healthy stuff all crammed into 1 aisle or area of a store. HOW are we supposed to know what to grab?

Boxes, labels, nutrition facts, and ingredient lists are all helpful….to some extent.

{Honestly, could they cram one more piece of information on the packaging??}

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As someone who has studied this stuff in school, I ‘get’ the info, but to the average person–I bet they’re confused as all get out. And it is SO sad to me that these things need to be decoded. I mean, we’re talking about our FOOD here.

But I digress.

Today I want to discuss what some of the words actually mean. Like, what does it mean when the box claims it’s “a good source of ___”?

Decoding Nutrition Label Claims

In answer to those questions about what those screaming claims are talking about, here is a nifty chart to check out:

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These food manufacturers are sneaky (check out The Health Halo post to see more ‘crap’ that’s made to look healthy). And if you’re not careful, even the very aware shopper or wary eater could be walking away with a box of food that isn’t really the food the label claims it to be.

You can’t say you haven’t been warned. 😉

But for reals, if you want to eat right-stick mostly to foods that don’t come in boxes, packages, cans, or bags. But, if you must, READ the ingredients, and now you know what those claims are really talking about.

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Seriously, something that is a ‘good’ source could only be delivering 10% of your daily need for that nutrient. 10%!!! That’s almost zilch if you ask me. You’d have to eat 10 servings of that food to get the 100% needed!

And I am truly sorry if you’re just being inducted into the ‘not everything is awesome in the USDA and nutrition labeling world’…..but knowledge is power, people, and I would be sorely disappointed in us blog readers if we just pretended that everything was peachy in the grocery stores.

And that is why I write the honest truth here, so hopefully people who didn’t study this information in school can know that there is trickery & money behind most of those grocery shelves.

*****

On a happier note, it’s THURSDAY! So let’s be extra thankful, shall we?!

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am very thankful for my amazing husband who supported me through the entire training & preparing & actual race. Such a gem.
  2. I am super grateful for spinach–easiest way to add veggies to a smoothie, baby!
  3. I am really grateful for electrical fans keeping me cool<—makes my day at work soooo much better!

{Oh, and Happy Birthday to my fabulous little brother who is in Switzerland!!!! <—SO exciting (it’s our mother country!) He is a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he is loving every minute. He’s such a stud. To know more about missionaries, click here.}

Have a truly AWESOME day!! <3

What is something that might have tricked YOU up at the grocery store?? Did YOU know there were certain cut off limits for these claims?? What are YOU thankful for??

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Comments

  1. Food labels are absolutely ridiculous! While I don’t eat all raw, unprocessed whole foods, I do make it my goal to eat mostly these foods. No labels, no tricks!

  2. I too am thankful for Spinach..sometimes I wonder if I could turn green I eat sooo much of it…Popeye would be jealous. 😉

    And I am thankful for my body pump instructor this morning..who arrived on time, (unlike Tues. mornings gal who was 15 minutes late b/c she “over slept”), worked our butts off (unlike Tues. morning gal who forgets her sequence and throws us off…ugh!) and he knows everyone by their first names which just amazes me.

  3. Amen, sista! I never realized how much HFCS was in products.. I always just assumed “south beach diet bars” were healthy. Uh, not really. I will eat them on occasion, but now that I am aware of INGREDIENTS, I prefer wholesome and real ingredient food. It definitely still amazes me what people don’t know – and what I am finding out as I help others with nutrition. I actualy want to take some of my clients on a tour of the grocery store – I think they will get the most out of it.

    So funny, I just posted on my blog a question for “thankful thursday”, ha. I am honestly thankful for teaching zumba and everything it has done in my life. Pre-zumba, I was lacking serious confidence and self-esteem and in a super bad & unhealthy relationship. Teaching Zumba and gaining that confidence has transformed my life in ways I can’t even explain. I am ridiculously happy, more pleasant to be around, and found my perfect match of a boyfriend :)

  4. So cool that your bro is in Switzerland! I have been there and loved it!

  5. kristle says:

    about a year ago i read an article about reading bread labels, and i’m so glad i did! since then i haven’t touched a bag of bread that does not have “whole” as the first word listed in ingredients.
    can i ask you a question though, if your two options are a pack of organic hamburger buns with obviously no hfcs, but the first ingredient is just wheat flour; and a pack of non organic buns that does include hfcs but the first ingredient is whole wheat flour… which would you buy? i had to make the choice the other day :/

  6. Ugh, food labels! I do my best to eat as whole as possible, but when I pick up a new product I always make sure to read and make sure I’m avoiding as many creepy ingredients as I can.

    And I am totally the person who goes to the grocery store all sweaty – I go Tuesday mornings after my workout and probably stink up the place a little :-p

  7. I always read over labels, especially since I have to make sure they don’t contain gluten or soy! I also try not to buy packaged food, which makes it a lot easier!

  8. Okay…you literally took the words from my mouth!!! I had planned to write this exact post next week. haha!!! You hit it all on the head, though, so I’m just going to link you up on Friday. You saved me the work of writing it. 😉

  9. Danielle says:

    oh I totally hate food labels! if i eat something with a food label that has more than 5 ingredients i basically just accept that it’s crap adn make sure i want it, and enjoy it. i know they are off, just looking at bars by the same brand; some of them all say they are the same caloric value but have totally differerent ingredients.. makes no sense. but i’m no expert, i just figure it’s better to reduce my consumption of packaged/processed stuff, and when i do have it, just accept the consequences. trying to make better choices, but ya know certain times of the month (day, week… lol) it’s just darn hard! :p
    that is awesome that your brother is in switzerland!!! my great auntie is turning 90 years old next month, she lives near Zurich, and i’m so sad i’ll have to miss the enormous family gathering. i love visiting family there and it’s so cool that you are from there also! not very often i get to come across someone who knows switzerland :)
    i’m so thankful it’s thursday! this weekend we are going camping/canoeing, then riding around Lake Conroe on labor day. whoohoo… happy thursday Annette, and congrats again on your super HUGE and AMAZING victory!!!

  10. [email protected] says:

    GIRL!!! Congrats on your 1/2 iornman, you are my hero. I LOVED your recap! Seriously, I want your autograph. I also loved your break up letter with excessive social media, I need to work on that too!
    It is scary how sneaky the food manufacturers can be!
    So cool your brother is in Switzerland on a mission! Hope you are having an amazing day gorgeous girl!

  11. I did NOT know about the cutoffs – I do know all about the USDA trickery, however. That is why I choose to buy as fresh as I can, and when I do buy boxed foods I scour that label like a hawk. Whiiiiich drives my husband crazy, so I tend to shop on my own!! :-)

    Today, I am thankful for inspiration in unexpected places (like Justin Beiber songs) and leftover mashed cauliflower!!

  12. Great tips!! It seems so much is about politics and money these days, instead of the betterment of society. :(

  13. Thanks for sharing this! I had no idea, less, good source, etc, had quantifiable numbers behind them they had to meet that to advertise that. Very interesting!

  14. Ugh, food labels frustrate me. Thanks for including the info on distinguishing different nutritional claims. Sneaky marketers!

  15. I use to be tricked by low fat thinking it’s better- sometimes there’s no difference in calories and hardly any difference in fat. And other times they compensate for the lack of fat with lots more sugar!

Trackbacks

  1. […] that same train of thought, Annette posted about decoding food labels and what exactly all those health claims mean. I actually had a post exactly like this in my “to-blog” list…but she covered it all so well, […]

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    Decoding Nutrition Label Claims | Good Source | Ingredients | Grocery Shopping | Health Halo | Enjoy Your Healthy Life

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