This post is part of a series I am doing for Positively Positive.
If you are trying to adhere to a healthful diet and lifestyle, it is helpful to educate yourself about what foods will support your health better than others. Whereas it should be clear that choosing as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible is the best approach, most people still buy some packaged foods.
I am obsessive about reading labels on packages in order to help me make the best choice I can. But the FDA allows food manufacturers, even for organic products, to take so many liberties in wording and, furthermore, don’t insist that everything in your food be labeled as such that it could be argued that we consumers are being deceived.
Here are some guidelines to help you understand what much of this labeling really means.
“Natural” or “Pure” The words sound wholesome and even healthful, but whether you are buying chicken or juice or vanilla extract, these words mean practically nothing since there is no official definition for what can be labeled “natural” or “pure.” For example, “natural chicken” just means it is chicken and not play dough. It doesn’t guarantee anything healthful, organic, or good for you. Food labeled “natural” can contain processed white sugar, pesticides, heavy metal toxins, MSG, and lots of other non-natural ingredients. Also note that if you see “natural flavors” listed in the ingredients of a “natural” product, don’t think here’s anything natural about them. Natural flavors are created in a lab and are supposed to imitate flavors found in nature. Not exactly natural.