Knowing what to look for on food labels

Many phrases line the labels of the food we eat and serve our families every day, from reduced fat to multigrain.

However, not everything you put on the table is what you think it is.

Grocery shopping can be about getting in, getting what you need, and getting out. Some shoppers are not buying what they think they are buying, especially if they are only reading the front of the package.

Manufacturers are good at picking up on those buzz words that consumers are concerned with, and they use those to catch our attention.

These are a few common misconceptions. First, bread labeling can be tricky, says registered dietitian nutritionist Ann Dunaway The.

She says, “Although it might say wheat or multigrain, it doesn't mean it's whole grain bread.”

You want to look for it to say 100 percent.

In addition, the term light can be confusing. It can be spelled two different ways, but mean the same thing. Light can mean less calories, fat or sodium than a food's original counterpart.

Ann adds, “Just because a label says light or reduced does not mean that is license to eat more of that food.”

Many manufacturers have removed trans fats from foods, but not all of them have done so.

She adds, “By law, it can contain up to a half gram of trans fat and still claim zero on the label per serving.”

You want to look in the ingredients for the words "partially hydrogenated oil" - the major source of trans fat - and steer clear of those items.

Being a proactive and informed shopper can go a long way.


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