Scrap the black box!

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Our good old government has done us a huge favor by insisting on food labels, and by making laws that somewhat regulate their contents.  We are grateful for that.
 
The challenge, however, is obtaining the most important nutrition information from the labels. There is just as much to be learned from what is not there, as from what is there!
 
Fortunately, by following a few simple principles, you can pick up on the main things you need to know – in just one glance.  There’s no need to spend hours of your valuable time in the supermarket,
 
Principle #1:  SKIP THE BIG BLACK BOX  
 
Even elementary children are being trained to interpret   the famous “nutrition label” – to our dismay! Unfortunately, this attention-grabbing box directs our focus away from genuine health-promoting natural nutrition.  Here are some problems we have with it:
   
     a) Ambiguity
                         – Where the calories come from is very important, but ‘good’ and ‘bad’ caloric food sources are all lumped together and listed as “Calories.”  This gives the impression that you only have to keep to a certain number of calories in order to be healthy.  Not true!
                         
                         – What are ‘sugars’ ?  Healthful sources such as fruit, and unhealthful sources such as processed sugar, fake sweeteners, and refined flour are swept together into this one category – as if the “grams” are all that really count.
                       
                         – Sodium – again, the sources make such a difference.  Refined salt is not a real food; earth or sea salt IS, and provides certain natural minerals we require for health.   Total milligrams of sodium, therefore, can be bad or good – this generic category won’t distinguish them for you.
 
    b) Misleading information
                          
                         – ‘Total carbs’ is divided into ‘dietary fiber’ and ‘sugars.’ How did fiber become a carb?  Fiber is very necessary in our daily diet for the digestive and elimination processes, but to list it as a carb scares off people who believe they should eat NO carbs, for weight loss or for any other reason. If by ‘fiber’ a grain product is being identified, it’s rather well disguised, isn’t it?
 
 Principle #2:  READ THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS   
 
This fine-print list is often found underneath or beside the black box, but not always.  From this list, you will find virtually all you need to know. 
         
                     – The items are listed in order of weight, heaviest to lightest
         
                     – Look for not more than three ingredients total. If it’s longer, this is almost guaranteed to be an unhealthful food product.  More than likely it contains lifeless chemical ingredients such as added vitamins, colors, flavors, preservatives, etc.
         
                     – If that first glance doesn’t convince you, watch for hidden aliases, such as for sugar and MSG.  If the various types of sweeteners were added together, their total weight would mean ‘sugars’ had to be put as FIRST in order. (That might affect sales.)  Similarly, MSG aka’s can be spread throughout the list as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, natural flavors, etc.
 
Hint:  Sometimes this list of ingredients is hidden under a flap or printed in light ink that is almost impossible for people like me to read.  🙂  Be sure to search for it!
 
Principle #3:  BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT THE ‘ORGANIC’ SPEAK
 
There are some government regulations for the use of the word organic, but you should know what they are. I suggest you do a little research on this to avoid getting ‘marketed’ into misdirected thinking. 
 
Be aware, and move forward – that’s what we’re all about here! 
 
Your feedback, as always, is welcomed. Call us anytime at (562) 861-3896

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