Topic – Read That Label!

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Read That Label!

Most people know what they are putting into their bodies when they eat a piece of chicken or a carrot. Food such as eggs, apples, and potatoes are called natural foods. There has been nothing added to the food before you cook it or eat it raw.

Foods that have other things added to them are called processed foods. Processed foods are usually found in a box, can, or bag. So how do you know what you are eating when you buy processed foods?

The Ingredient List

Processed foods have an ingredient list. This list tells you what is in the food. The ingredients are listed in the order of their weight. This means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first. The second ingredient by weight is listed next. Ingredients such as spices, flavourings, minerals, and vitamins are usually at the end of the list in any order. This is because they are small amounts.

Here is an example of an ingredient list from a cereal box:

Ingredients: Whole wheat, wheat bran, sugar/glucose-fructose, salt, malt (corn flour, malted barley), vitamins (thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate), minerals (iron, zinc oxide).

What Is in a Name?

Sometimes fats, sodium, and sugar are in an ingredient list under a different name. These are three things that most people want to know about because they do not want to eat too much of these ingredients. So it is important to know the other names of these common ingredients. Here are some examples of other names used:

Fat: bacon, beef fat, butter, cocoa butter, lard, palm oil, shortening, suet, hard margarine, powdered whole milk

Sodium: baking powder, baking soda, celery salt, garlic salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), salt, sodium bisulfate, soy sauce

Sugar: brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, sucrose

Ingredient lists are also important because they can tell you if the food has something in it that you are allergic to or that makes you sick.

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