Label reading will always be a beneficial habit to have while grocery shopping. But even for label readers, label language can be difficult to interpret- often misleading.
Nowadays one nearly needs to be a linguist- and a lawyer who specializes in FDA regulations- to interpret food labels or to not be misled by claims for what is safe for consumption. The fact that nutrition “marketing” exists might be the first red flag.
Might “part of a healthy breakfast” end up being the bad part? Marketing that creates an impression or illusion is out of place when it comes to establishing that a food choice as healthy.
Nutrition buzz words come and go. They create marketing opportunities to persuade you to make what will likely be inferior food purchases. These terms come to mind: no added sugar, made with (real juice), no added hormones, all natural, no artificial ingredients, or fresh.
If your #1 rule of thumb while food shopping is to avoid purchasing food that requires a label then nutritious food selection will be less of a challenge.
Buy what Mother Nature makes, in its original form, and avoid the confusion and challenge of labels altogether.
If grocery shopping has become repetitive, boring or mundane for you, your challenge may be to restore your enthusiasm for grocery shopping.
Challenge yourself to learn to use spices to make your healthiest choices appealing. Spices are Mother Nature’s flavor enhancers. Spices are good. Laboratory created flavor enhancers are evil.
Genetics may have set the stage for your health before birth but personal choices for eating well are opportunities for self-correction. Grocery store choices can make you healthy or make you sick.
If most of your meals come from restaurants, you’ve put your health into the hands of strangers. Exercise is extremely important- but a different issue.
Monstrously huge companies determine what foods come into the market place and how the food is presented to us. We don’t have to fear the monsters- if we side step them and stick to label-free organic foods made by Mother Nature. We’ll need oversight watchdogs for those who issue the “organic” labels but that’s a discussion for another time.
In marketing, perception may be reality but good health is measurable and has nothing to do with perception.
If the food you purchase has a label you need to read that label- and understand what it’s telling you, what it’s not telling you, and what it wants you to believe that may or may not be true.
In personal relationships people typically avoid controversy. Avoid controversy in your relationship with food too.
Don’t squander your time, money, or health. Avoid grocery store aisles that have nothing that’s label-free. Avoid temptation. Out of sight is out of mind.
Typically speaking, the healthiest food choices don’t need a label- except to identify where the food was grown, what helped it grow, how it was handled, or when it was picked. The “label” might be a sticker or signage placed near the food item.
Make most of your buy vs. bye decisions at the grocery store by choosing foods that don’t need a label.