The weekly trip to the grocery store is fun for some, and a total bore for others. But no matter what, keeping a close eye on the fine print should be an important part of your shopping routine. Whether you’re enjoying yourself or want to walk out those doors as soon as possible, as long as you’re there, you have to keep your eyes peeled and stay alert, because buying food needs as much attention as eating it.
To make this easier for you, food packaging comes with labels on which various details ranging from the manufacturing date, to ‘best before’, to the nutritional value and what additives are used. While you may already be familiar with checking information such as the expiry date and the artificial ingredients used, there are other parameters for judging the product as well. Here is a guide to help you decode food labels:
- Serving size
This is the first box to check, because everything else depends on the serving size. It gives you an idea of how many portions are there in the entire container. The other nutritional content’s amounts are given per serving, which may differ from the portion size you consume in one sitting. So make sure you calculate the amount of nutrition according to your portion size, based on the serving size.
- Check the good and bad nutrients
Take a look at the fat content and try to avoid trans fats. Try to keep saturated fat and cholesterol to a minimum. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is another ingredient to stay away from. Instead, stay with healthy unsaturated oils such as canola, safflower, olive, etc.Coming to the good nutrients, stock up on food that has more fibre content and a good supply of vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium.
- Check the per cent daily value
The % DV scale tells you how much nutrient is available in one serving of the food. If it is less than 5% DV, it is too less. If it is higher than 15%, it is a lot. In this way, you can measure and compare the nutrient content of various foods.
- Keep the salt in control
The sodium content should be less than or equal to the calories per serving. This can keep your salt intake in check. If it is recommended that you cut down on salt intake, make sure you consider low-sodium, low-salt, or unsalted food products only.
- Organic, natural, or conventional?
Foods that claim to be natural are not the same as organic food. They just don’t use added colours and flavours, but the process is not regulated. Organic food on the other hand is strictly chemical-free. If a product has neither of these labels, it is conventionally produced. If it does, make sure you prefer the organic version to the natural one, but first check if it is certified as 100% organic.
Once you’ve confirmed that the product is an authentic organic one, you can rest assured you’ve made the right choice. Your grocery shopping is now a mission successfully accomplished! For a virtual experience of such satisfactory grocery shopping, visit 24 Mantra’s online organic store and take your pick from the wide range of 100% organic certified products. You can find the website here: https://www.24mantra.com/