Don’t Over-Think the Nutrition Facts Panel!
Photo retrieved on 4/6/18 from: https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/nutrition-labels-fail-help-healthy-food-choices/
There was a time when food was chosen and consumed WITHOUT the burden of first scrutinizing what is now known as the “nutrition facts panel”. No one knew what a “percent daily value” was or cared whether or not the product contained cholesterol.
A quick glance at the nutrition facts panel CAN be useful for example when searching for the spaghetti sauce with the lowest sodium content, or the cereal with the least amount of sugar, or the bread with the highest fiber content. If on the other hand, too much time is wasted agonizing over that little box on the side of food packages, grocery shopping can feel overwhelming. Furthermore… comparing one heavily processed food item with another doesn’t exactly get the job done when it comes to being healthy.
Try keeping it simple by focusing mainly on the purchase of real food items from all around the grocery store (vegetables, nuts, beans, fruits, peanut butter, whole oats, eggs, cheeses, etc.). For prepared items the ingredients list is useful for assuring that food products do not contain unwanted surprises such as xanthan gum in your salsa, carrageenan in your almond milk or high fructose corn syrup in your ketchup.
Many factors, including our budget, our preferences and our cooking skills ultimately influence our food choices at the grocery store. While the “nutrition facts panel “may at times be of value, we can certainly make delicious and healthy choices without it.