Potassium sorbate… xanthangum… maltodextrin… phytonadione… carrageenan…
Do any of these ingredients sound familiar to you? Do you know what they are? Are you aware that you could be consuming them every day?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, this is an indicator that when you go food shopping, you might want to start paying more attention to the ingredients lists that is required to be displayed on all food packaging. Unfortunately, many consumers tend to neglect this information, not realizing its importance, especially if you have a food allergy or experience symptoms of a food sensitivity.
The ingredients list must show all of the ingredients that are in the given food item, and the ingredients are required to be listed in descending order of predominance by weight. For example, in the sample ingredients list shown above, wheat flour is the primary ingredient in this food item, followed by water, shredded low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, tomato paste, and so on.
Some ingredient lists can be a little more complicated to understand. For example, a nutrient label for juice shows the amount of sugar grams that is contained in the juice; however, because sugar occurs naturally in juice and is not added to it, sugar will not be included in the ingredients list.
There are also some food items that might display only one ingredient in its ingredient list because nothing else has been added to the food item. For example, whole wheat couscous contains one ingredient – whole durum wheat semolina – because no other ingredients have been added to the couscous.
Finally, keep in mind that some ingredients might not be listed by their common or usual name. For example, corn syrup, honey, and dextrose are all different forms of sugar.
What is YOUR biggest struggle with clean, healthy eating? I want to know so I can plan upcoming content. Would you mind taking a few minutes to fill out this brief survey? I would really appreciate it!