Understanding Food Labels

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Have you read a food label lately?  Even if you know what all of the ingredients are, food labels can be misleading.  With the marketing of popular food trends, food labels with phrases like “organic,” “low-carb,” “trans-fat free” can make consumers feel like they’re making healthy food choices.  Kimberly Lord Stewart is the author of Eating Between the Lines: The Supermarket Shopper's Guide to the Truth Behind Food Labels.  She uncovers the facts behind some common misconceptions about food labels.

Food label examples:  A 12 oz. can of soda has 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar.  However, it’s labeled in grams because most people don’t know how to compute grams and it appears to have less sugar.  Did you know that orange pekoe tea is a leaf grade, not a type of tea?  The leaves must be handpicked from solely the youngest flower bud and the next two leaves.  Some teas are implied to be orange pekoe because they are labeled as “tips” – a blend of cut or crushed lower leaves with plucked top leaves.

Along with her book, Kimberly Lord Stewart is also editor-in-chief of Dining Out Magazine and regularly contributes to numerous publications such as Alternative Health, Better Nutrition, Eating Well and Vegetarian Times.