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The Most Interesting Part of the Food Label

Last, we come to the most interesting part of the food label: the ingredient list. This can be the most confusing and enlightening part of the whole label. It is a difficult section to read accurately because the rules are not clear and specified.

All the ingredients in a product must be listed on the ingredient list, in decreasing order by weight. And some products may have other ingredients that contain more than one item. That means that there is an ingredient, followed by a parenthesis, containing the ingredients in that product, in decreasing order by weight. The next food listed can be a plain food or a mixture, again in parentheses.

Most people avoid all products where a sugar is in the first five ingredients. But if we count the sugars in other products and add them up, we get a much higher value.

So here are some suggestions for eliminating foods that are likely to give you trouble. Put a food back on the shelf if:

Any sugar is in the first five ingredients

There are more than three foods that need parentheses

There is sugar in two or more parentheses, even farther down the

ingredients list.

There are more than two flour words.

There are words you don’t understand, that are not familiar foods.

Attached are three cereal labels. The first is shredded wheat. This product has been around since I was a child, a long time ago. Read the ingredients. There are two. The number next to the sugars is a zero. If you can tolerate wheat, this food is good for you. Look at the list of nutrients. There are many. This too is good for you. Similar ingredients are found in other cereals, like puffed corn, millet, etc.

Look at the next label. Cheerios. Made with whole grains. Second ingredient corn starch. Third ingredient sugar. Cornstarch is corn with the endosperm and germ removed. One ounce of cereal has 1 gram sugar; that’s about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.  And the newest cheerios label admits to 2 grams of sugar!  1/2 teaspoon!  Vitamins and minerals needed to be added.

Third label is an “oat” cereal, but oats is the fourth ingredient!! Five sugars, two flours, four grains, natural and artificial flavors, and annatto added so it tastes good, BHT to keep it fresh, some vitamins and minerals. There are only 9 grams of sugar on the sugars list because some of the sugar-like products can be counted as carbohydrates instead.  What do you think this cereal tastes like? Is it good for your body?

The last label is my favorite. I am choosing not to tell you the brand. It is apple butter fruit spread.  The container is beautiful. The pictures and colors are lovely.

Here are the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: Water, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Gellan Gum, Carob Gum, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate to Preserve Freshness, Sucralose, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Caramel Color, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon. CONTAINS: Sulfites .

Except for water and the spices, I don’t have any of these ingredients in my kitchen. Do you? But I need to point out that they forgot one ingredient in their delicious apple butter spread. There are no apples!! The packaging is beautiful and the price is only $5.99 for 12 ounces.

I have been taught and I believe that the food we eat is used by the body to nourish the body and to meet its needs for compounds to repair, replace, and maintain the essential body tissues: the cells of the lungs, the heart, the brain, and muscles for strength.  Also to maintain the function of the rest of the organs, and for energy to carry us through our daily lives.

I want to eat food as close as I can to the way God and Mother Nature planned it, and I do not want to put man-made nutrient free foods in my body. I think that man-made foods won’t work for the body long term. I want to treat the body with dignity and respect, and give it the foods it needs to be healthy and strong.

Just my opinion. Be welcome to comment.

Blessings to you,



2 Responses to The Most Interesting Part of the Food Label

  1. Sandra Koenig April 5, 2022 at 12:44 pm #

    Your blog articles are so good, Theresa. Thank you for the information! $5.99 for “apple butter” with no apples! My my. Think how many real apples I could buy with $5.99, and make my own no-sugar added real apple butter!

    • H. Theresa Wright April 5, 2022 at 1:23 pm #

      Dear Sandra, I am so glad you like the blogs! And real apple butter would be so easy to make and would smell so good!!

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