Food Labels: Do You Pay Attention to the Ingredients List
Many of us, when buy any packaged item, first read its label. We often buy any product only after checking what ingredients have been used in it and how much it is right from the point of view of health. But what is written on the label of the packet is not necessarily clear. Sometimes ingredients are hidden or claims like heart healthy, natural or low fat etc. but these assurances are not always true.
If you buy goods only after reading the label, then also keep the necessary information related to it.
There are some ingredients in the ingredients list on the food packet which we neither know the meaning nor we know their use. In such a situation, it is good to understand the meaning before buying the goods.
Check the Ingredients List
Wheat flour, brown rice syrup and palm oil are written on many packets which look very nutritious. But wheat flour can also mean maida. If Whole Wheat Flour is written, it means that wheat has been used in the product. Similarly, palm oil is made from plant, but it is a saturated fat which is not a good fat. Many times zero fat, low sodium and high fiber are written on the packet, which is not necessarily true. It is better to take the goods only by looking at the nutrition in the ingredients list.
Pay Attention to the Order of the Ingredients
Ingredients are listed by weight as per FSSAI guidelines. The ingredients that have the largest amount by weight are placed first in the ingredients list. For example, wheat flour biscuits. If wheat flour has been used the most in it, then it will be placed first in the list. After this, the most commonly used ingredients would be sugar or milk in second place. The least used material will be placed last. This lets you find out how much of the material you are buying has been used.
Do Not Get Caught Up in Words
The content in the list can also be with a different name. Sugar can be replaced by words like high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown rice syrup. “ose” is used at the end of some words, such as glucose, maltose etc. Baking soda, monosodium, brine and sodium benzoate for the salt. For fat there would be lard, partially hydrogenated oils, tallow and shortening. The words "reduced fat", on a food label, indicate that the product contains 25 percent less fat than the original version. This does not, necessarily, mean that the product is low in fat. There are different codes for food coloring, such as E150 for brown. However, some ingredients, such as steviol glycosides, may be healthier.
It is usually seen that foods that do not use chemicals have short ingredient lists. It is also easy to understand them and choose the right stuff.