Product Label Reading 101

Product Label Reading 101

Sugar-Free, 100% Natural, No Artificial Flavors, these are all common catch phrases we see in the grocery store isles on the front labels. These phrases are meant to grab our attention and prompt us to pick it up off the shelf, put it in our baskets and buy! A lot of people are caught and tricked by these marketing tactics.

They are often very deceptive and cause one to believe they are getting a quality product when in actuality they are not. These marketing strategists know what key words people are looking for and also know that most people won’t turn the product over and take the time to see what they’re really getting ready to buy.

Although they may claim something is sugar-free, what are they substituting the sugar for to sweeten the product? Probably with something more dangerous than sugar! The word natural is very generic and it could mean really whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean. Sure a product may not contain any artificial flavors but does it have artificial coloring (red dye, blue dye, yellow dye)?

If you really want to know what you’re getting you must read the back label.  This is the real truth about your product. Generally, the first 5 ingredients are what your product primarily consists of, but it is important to read all ingredients on the label.

This not only applies to food, but also personal care products and anything else that we put on or in our bodies. Some personal care products may be marketed as healthy because they contain natural substances like olive oil, tea tree oil, or vitamin e, but when you turn the product over you see about 12 ingredients listed with the promoted natural substance being the 12th item on the list, and something like water or mineral oil being the 1st! So you’re really getting only a trace amount of the substance marketed on the front of the bottle which means the quality of the product is not as high as it appears to be!

5 key points to remember when shopping:

ü After the front label draws you in, turn it around and read the back label!

ü Look at the first 5 ingredients to make an informed decision

ü Read the entire back label to find out what’s in the product

ü If it has more than 12 ingredients, it probably has a lot of artificial additives

ü Watch out for too many catch phrases on the front

Until next time…Be Healthy, Be Whole, Be You!

Kay Davis

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