Read food labels Part 1

It sounds simple, but it is not; in the food sector, at least here in Italy, companies can produce by following too often the regulations approved by the Department of Health but those regulations are not always made according to common sense and responsibility.

To make sure that the product we are about to consume is really in line with what we want or expect, it is essential to learn how to read labels. The “business card” of a ready-made food is in fact its list of ingredients, where we can find all the information essential to make a conscious choice

Everything specified on the packaging of a product is governed by European regulations that dictate what information to be reported on individual products, and how it should be reported.

These include:

– The sales name

– Nutrition tables

– Ingredients

– Claims on composition, as well as health and functional claims.

Nevertheless, the labels nest the tricks that the industry uses to ʺbribe theʺ consumer: nutritional information for food products is often so distorted that it seems almost useless. Read food labels part 1.

tricks you should not fall for

Unfortunately, the lack of transparency also affects the ingredients, so everything that enhances the product is put in great prominence by the most visible part of the package, while the ʺsuspectʺ ingredients disappear on the back, where they are printed in tiny characters and escape from the field of view.

Here the information about sugars, hydrogenated fats, dyes, preservatives and salt generally ends. For example, reading carefully the back of the pack of some frozen pizzas, it turns out that they provide as much as 83% of the daily salt requirement! On the cans of most carbonated soft drinks it is easily read that they bring about 7% of the daily calorie requirement, but it is difficult to find that the same drink provides almost 40% of the recommended sugars per day.

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