Advice on Choosing Health Food And Healthy Foods And
Reading Nutrition Labels
by: Chris Robertson
Health food doesn't need a definition, does it? We all know what health food is it's
yogurt and granola, whole-grain cereal and organically grown vegetables and fruit. It's
100% natural, no preservatives or dyes, unadulterated, pure. When you put all that
together, you should have healthy food, yet all too often, what's marketed as health food
these days barely classifies as food, let alone health food.

Take a look at one of our favorite health food choices - yogurt. It hit supermarket
shelves in the early seventies, though it had been available before that in health food
stores and restaurants. Real yogurt has two ingredients: milk (whole, skim or low fat)
and live yogurt cultures. That's health food - calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein.
Next time you're at the supermarket, take a look at the dairy case. You'll find row after
row of hyper-sweetened brightly colored rainbow swirled and candy-sprinkled yogurt
packaged in ways that appeal to our littlest consumers - children. Millions of parents buy
the enticing packages, secure that because it's yogurt, they're buying food that's healthy
for their children.

One look at the label, though, and it's clear that these kiddy yogurts (as well as most of
the yogurt that's marketed to adults) are a far cry from heath food. Some of the most
popular yogurts for children contain anywhere from 3 to 10 added teaspoons of sugar.
Considering how many teaspoons of yogurt are in a single serving, you might as well
hand your child the sugar bowl. In addition, most yogurts include "natural" ingredients
that have little to do with health food. Ingredients like pectin (to thicken yogurt),
carrageenan (a seafood extract that gives some yogurts their body, and annatto (for
color) add little nutritionally to yogurt. They're in the mix to serve one main purpose: to
help yogurt survive its trip from the factory to your table.

You'll find the same situation with other foods that originally made their debut as health
foods in the seventies. Granola has become granola bars with chocolate chips and gooey
caramel. Whole wheat flour is bleached and denuded of its flavorful kernels. Sunflower
seeds are roasted in oil and salted. Even brown rice comes in the instant variety.

Healthy food not health food

The secret to feeding your family (and yourself) a healthful diet of healthy food is to
read the labels. The United States Food & Drug Administration has laid out strict
guidelines for nutritional labeling of all food products. The nutrition label will tell you all
you need to know to choose real health foods. Some things to keep in mind when
reading nutrition labels for health foods:

* In the ingredient's portion of the nutrition label, ingredients are listed in order by
amount. The ingredient that's listed first is the main ingredient, followed by the next
largest amount, etc.

* The nutrition facts label must list each of the required nutrients even if the food
provides 0% of the recommended daily value.

* The nutrition facts label must list what portion of the food's calories is derived from
fat, from sugar, from protein and from carbohydrates. It will also break down the fat
into saturated and unsaturated fat.

Reading labels on everything you feed your family is the best way to tell whether a food
is really a health food - or just masquerading as one.

About The Author

Chris Robertson is a published author of Majon International. Majon International is one
of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on
the web. Visit their main business resource web site at:
To learn more about subjects like health food please visit the web site at:
For more information and informative related articles and links about this subject matter
and content, please visit Majon's Food directory:

This article was posted on December 25, 2005

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The
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