Shopping Mistakes

LabelSay_nfactslessonEvery time I grocery shop, I am always looking for new products to try as well as new trends and label tricks. We had fat-free, then we had carb-free and now we have a variety of trends including whole grain, calcium added, trans-fat free, 100 calorie servings and flavor decadence.  Most of all right now we have the worry that food prices have gone up. Recently I just saw whole chickens for $9!!

I think one of the worst shopping mistakes one can make, though, is to shop based on assumption. Assumption meaning buying things that you think are healthy without checking out the Nutrition Facts panel.

Currently we are working on a really fun new PowerPoint show called, The Label Says - Nutrition Facts Panel Game.  I managed to find and buy, on one fell swoop, about $166 worth of food that sounds okay but has a different story on the back of the box - all for the purpose of photography and research for this game. Some food items look like one serving, but they are really more. Others make all sorts of single nutrition claims but fall short on the whole picture. While others are dietary disasters with regards to total calorie, saturated fat or sodium content.

Most of us would assume fish or chicken is healthy, right? Well, maybe if you are buying a small, fresh piece and cooking it yourself without a lot of fat or salt. But most likely not if the food manufacturer has gotten ahold of it first.

Consider this fish product that claims 0g trans fat:

One would think that fish with 0g trans fat is okay, right?

But, flip the box and see the Nutrition Facts!

This product, per 3.8 ounce serving, contains 17 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat and 720 mg sodium.

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