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Labels are the key to my heart...and my health

Reading package labels and nutrition facts can give you more insight into what you're eating, and if its healthy!

What do you notice with these two packages? On the left we have an "Original Recipe", the left "Lightly Salted". Both are touted to have less sugar than an apple. Which would you pick? At this point, many people have the idea that salt is bad, and therefore salted foods should be avoided. This may be true for individuals with high blood pressure, but if we dig deeper into this packaging we may find out that its easy to be fooled with eye catching phrases.

What else can you see? Did you look at the top, where the lightly salted option says "No sugar added"? I don't know about you, but when I saw this, I was very confused- if something is salted, isn't it obvious that there is no sugar added? Why would they put that there? Because the original recipe has sugar added! Food companies are getting trickier and trickier, which is why its so important to turn over your food to read the label.

So lets put our detective skills to the test! On the left (original recipe) the ingredients list shows in order of descending order coconut, cane sugar, and salt. The lightly salted variety on the right has coconut and sea salt. Both have roughly the same calories and fat content. The major difference is that the original option has 10 g of sugar, while the lightly salted variety has only 1 g. It's also very interesting that they are comparing this to an apple, where the sugar is naturally occurring- not from added cane sugar.

Bottom line- companies want you to buy their products, and while they can't outright lie to consumers, they can word their claims in a way that can be unclear and downright confusing. So let's get informed with our food choices! Flip the food and read the nutrition label and ingredients list- it matters.

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