How to Read Food Labels Without Being Tricked

When it comes to choosing healthy food options, reading food labels is essential. However, the confusing and misleading information on food packaging can often leave many consumers feeling tricked. Food manufacturers use a variety of tactics to make their products appear healthier than they are, leading many people to make poor dietary choices.

Understanding what to look for on food labels can help you make healthier choices and avoid being fooled by clever marketing tactics. In this article, we’ll discuss how to read food labels without being tricked and provide you with valuable tips to help you make informed choices when it comes to your diet.

By learning to interpret nutrition labels effectively and decoding misleading claims, you’ll be able to choose healthier food options and take control of your diet. Let’s dive in and learn how to read food labels effectively.

Understanding Serving Size

The Importance of Serving Size

Understanding serving size is crucial when reading food labels. The serving size listed on the label tells you the amount of food or drink that is considered one serving. This information is important because all of the nutrition facts listed on the label are based on this serving size.

It is easy to think that the entire package is one serving, especially when the portion sizes we are used to are much larger. This is not always the case and can lead to overconsumption of calories, sugar, sodium, and other less healthy ingredients.

How to Read the Serving Size Information

The serving size is usually listed in both familiar measurements, such as cups or pieces, and in grams or ounces. This allows you to better understand the amount of food you are eating, regardless of how it is packaged.

It is also important to note the number of servings per container listed on the label. This is helpful for understanding how much you will eat if you consume the entire package and for calculating the nutrition information if you consume more or less than one serving.

Examples of Serving Sizes

  • A serving size of cereal may be ¾ cup or 30 grams.
  • A serving size of juice may be 8 ounces or 240 milliliters.
  • A serving size of pasta may be 1 cup or 120 grams.
  • A serving size of chips may be 1 ounce or 28 grams.

When reading food labels, it is important to pay attention to serving sizes. This information can help you make informed choices about the food you eat and avoid consuming more than you intended.

Analyzing Nutrient Facts

Understanding Serving Size

The first step in analyzing nutrient facts is to understand the serving size. On the label, you can find the serving size and the number of servings per container. It is important to measure or weigh your food to make sure you are consuming the appropriate serving size.

Reading the % Daily Value

The next step is to read the % Daily Value (DV). This is the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving based on a 2,000-calorie diet. If a food item has 5% or less of the DV, it is considered low and if it has 20% or more, it is considered high.

Focusing on Nutrients to Limit

You should also focus on the nutrients to limit such as sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars. These can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Try to choose foods that are low in these nutrients and consume them in moderation.

Comparing Similar Products

Lastly, you should compare similar products to make the best decision for your health. Look at the nutrient facts of different brands or options to see which one has less sugar, fat or sodium. This can help you make healthier choices when shopping for groceries.

  • Be aware of foods that are marketed as low fat or fat-free because they may have more added sugar to make up for the lack of taste.
  • Choose foods with higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to promote overall health and a balanced diet.
Nutrient % Daily Value
Sodium Less than 2,300mg (less than 1,500mg for those with high blood pressure)
Saturated Fats Less than 10% of calories
Added Sugars Less than 10% of calories

Remember to always read the nutrient facts label to make informed choices about the food you eat!

Avoiding Hidden Sugars

Check the Ingredients List

When reading food labels, it’s important to not only look at the amount of sugar listed in the nutrition facts, but also check the ingredients list. Sugar can be listed on the label under many different names, such as high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, molasses, honey, and more. Look out for words ending in “-ose,” such as glucose, dextrose, and sucrose, which are all forms of sugar.

Watch Out for Sneaky Sources of Sugar

Many packaged foods contain hidden sources of sugar, even those that don’t necessarily taste sweet. For example, condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce often contain high amounts of sugar. Granola bars and flavored yogurt can also be packed with added sugars. Be sure to check the labels of these types of products carefully and opt for lower sugar options when possible.

Choose Whole Foods Instead

One of the easiest ways to avoid hidden sugars is to opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are naturally low in sugar and full of essential nutrients. When buying packaged foods, look for those that are labeled “no added sugars” or “unsweetened.”

Don’t Be Fooled by Low-Fat Options

Many low-fat products, such as snack bars and yogurt, contain high amounts of added sugar to make up for the loss of flavor from reduced fat content. Instead of opting for these products, choose full-fat versions and eat them in moderation. Full-fat foods can actually be more filling and satisfying, leading to less snacking and overeating.

Identifying Artificial Sweeteners

Understanding Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that give food a sweet taste without the added calories of sugar. They are often used in low calorie or diet products and can be found under different names on food labels. It is essential to understand the different types of artificial sweeteners to make an informed choice when purchasing food products.

Types of Artificial Sweeteners

Some common types of artificial sweeteners include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and neotame. Aspartame is commonly found in diet soda, gum, and other sugar-free products. Saccharin is often used in sweeteners and diet foods, while sucralose is found in many low calorie and sugar-free products like baked goods and soft drinks. Neotame is a newer artificial sweetener and is often used in processed foods.

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Identifying Artificial Sweeteners on Food Labels

Artificial sweeteners can be identified on food labels under different names. It is important to look for words like “aspartame,” “saccharin,” “sucralose,” and “neotame.” Other common names for artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium and stevia. Be sure to read the entire ingredient list to identify any artificial sweeteners added to the product.


  • Avoid products with artificial sweeteners if you have a sensitivity or allergy to them
  • Be cautious of products labeled “sugar-free” or “diet” as they may contain artificial sweeteners
  • Some natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar may be a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners

Finding Whole Grains

When looking for whole grains on a food label, it’s important to know what to look for. Just because a package says “multigrain” or “100% wheat” doesn’t necessarily mean it contains whole grains.

Look for the word “whole” – Whole grains will always have the word “whole” before the type of grain, such as “whole wheat” or “whole grain oats.” This indicates that the entire grain is utilized, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.

Check the ingredient list – Ingredients are listed in order of prevalence, so the first ingredient listed should be a whole grain. If refined flour or other processed grains are listed first, it’s likely that the product doesn’t contain much whole grain.

  • Tip: Look for products with whole grains listed as the first ingredient on the label.
Whole Grains Processed Grains
  • Whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Enriched wheat flour
  • White rice
  • Cornstarch
  • Maltodextrin

Look for the whole grain stamp – The whole grain stamp is a symbol that some manufacturers voluntarily add to their packaging to indicate that the product contains whole grains. The stamp will indicate the number of grams of whole grains per serving.

  • Tip: Look for the “Whole Grain Stamp” logo on the packaging to determine if the product contains whole grains.

By learning how to decipher food labels, you can make more informed decisions about the foods you buy and consume. Being able to identify whole grains is just one step toward making healthier choices for your body.

Recognizing High-Fat Ingredients

Saturated and Trans Fats

When reading food labels, it’s important to check the amount of saturated and trans fats in the product. These types of fats can increase your risk of heart disease and should be limited in your diet. Saturated fats are typically found in animal products, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, but can also be found in some plant-based oils like coconut oil. Trans fats are often found in processed foods, like baked goods and fried foods.

Tip: Look for products with 0g of trans fat and limit saturated fats to no more than 10% of your daily calories.

Hidden Fats

Not all fats are labeled clearly on food packaging. Some ingredients, like palm oil, are high in saturated fats but may not be listed as such on the label. Other names for saturated fats include palmitic acid and stearic acid. Additionally, some products may use different types of oil in their ingredients, which can be a source of hidden fats.

Tip: Look for ingredients like palm oil, palmitic acid, and stearic acid on ingredient lists and choose products with healthier fats, like olive oil or avocado oil.

Serving Size

When looking at the fat content on a food label, it’s important to check the serving size as well. A product may appear to have a low amount of fat, but the serving size could be much smaller than what you typically eat. Pay attention to how many servings are in a package and adjust the fat content accordingly.

Tip: Use the % Daily Value column on the nutrition facts label to gauge how much of your daily intake of fat you will be consuming with one serving of the product.

Choosing Low-Sodium Options

Understanding Sodium Content on Food Labels

Understanding Sodium Content on Food Labels

When selecting foods with low-sodium options, it is important to understand how to read food labels. Sodium content is listed on labels as milligrams per serving. A food is considered low in sodium if it contains 140 milligrams or less per serving. Foods with 400 milligrams or more per serving are considered high in sodium.

Choosing Low-Sodium Foods

When grocery shopping, look for items that are labeled “low-sodium” or “reduced-sodium”. It is also helpful to compare sodium content between similar products to choose the one with the lowest amount. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are naturally low in sodium and are great options to incorporate into meals.

Be Aware of Hidden Sodium

Some foods may not seem high in sodium but can still contain significant amounts. These include canned soups, processed meats, and condiments like salad dressings and soy sauce. Be sure to check labels on these items and choose the low-sodium or reduced-sodium options when available. Cooking with herbs and spices instead of salt can also help reduce sodium intake.


Choosing low-sodium options can help improve heart health and lower blood pressure. Understanding how to read food labels for sodium content, choosing low-sodium foods, and being aware of hidden sodium in certain foods are all important steps in making healthier choices.

Evaluating Percent Daily Value

What is Percent Daily Value?

Percent Daily Value, or DV, is a reference number that helps you evaluate how much of a nutrient a serving of food contains in relation to the daily recommended amount. These daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults, and can vary depending on age, gender, and other factors.

How to Use Percent Daily Value

When reading food labels, look at the percent DV listed for each nutrient. If the percent DV is 5% or less, it is considered low, while a percent DV of 20% or more is considered high. This means that if a serving of food has 20% DV of a nutrient, it provides 20% of the daily recommended amount of that nutrient for a person consuming a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keep in mind that the percent DV is based on a single serving of the food item. If you consume more than one serving, you need to adjust the percent DV accordingly. For example, if a serving of cereal provides 10% DV of iron and you eat two servings, you have consumed 20% DV of iron.

What to Look for in Percent Daily Value

When evaluating percent DV, try to choose foods that have high percentages of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while avoiding foods that have high percentages of sodium, sugar, and saturated fats. This will help you make informed choices about the foods you consume and maintain a healthy diet.

  • High percent DV for nutrients to look for:
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin A
    • Fiber
    • Iron
  • High percent DV for nutrients to avoid:
    • Saturated Fats
    • Sodium
    • Sugar
Nutrient Percent Daily Value Daily Recommended Amount
Vitamin C 100% 60 mg
Saturated Fat 10% Less than 20g
Fiber 25% 25g

Checking for Allergens

Read the ingredients list carefully

The ingredients list is the most important part of the food label when it comes to checking for allergens. Look for any ingredients that you or a family member are allergic to. This may include common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, wheat, and eggs. Make sure to read the ingredients list every time you buy the product, as manufacturers may change the ingredients without warning.

Check for cross-contamination warnings

Sometimes even if a product doesn’t contain the allergen in the ingredients list, it may still be contaminated with traces of the allergen during manufacturing. Look for any warnings on the label that may indicate cross-contamination. This may include phrases like “may contain peanuts” or “processed in a facility that also processes nuts.” If you see these warnings, it’s best to avoid the product altogether.

Don’t assume “allergen-free” means completely safe

Some products may have labels that claim to be “allergen-free” or “gluten-free.” While these labels are helpful, it’s important to remember that they aren’t a guarantee. The product may still be processed in a facility that uses the allergen, or the manufacturer may not have tested the product rigorously enough to ensure that it’s completely free of allergens. Be sure to still read the ingredients list and look for cross-contamination warnings before consuming any “allergen-free” products.

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Consult with your doctor or allergist

If you have severe food allergies, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor or allergist before trying any new products. They can help you determine if a product is safe for you to consume based on your individual allergies and medical history.

  • Read the ingredients list
  • Check for cross-contamination warnings
  • Don’t assume “allergen-free” means completely safe
  • Consult with your doctor or allergist

Decoding Food Additives

Understanding Food Additives

Food additives are substances intentionally added to food for various purposes, such as to preserve the food, enhance its flavor or appearance, or improve its texture. The use of food additives is regulated by government agencies to ensure that they are safe for human consumption. However, sometimes food additives can be listed on food labels with confusing or unfamiliar names, which can make it difficult for consumers to understand what they are consuming.

Deciphering Food Additive Codes

One way to better understand food additives is to look at their codes. Food additives are assigned codes by the International Numbering System (INS), which consists of a three-digit number followed by the name of the additive. For example, the code for ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is E300. The first digit in the code indicates the general category of the additive, such as preservatives or antioxidants, while the second and third digits provide more specific information about the additive.

Common Food Additives and Their Effects

Some common food additives and their effects include:

  • Artificial sweeteners: These are added to foods and drinks as a low-calorie alternative to sugar, but some research suggests they may have negative health effects.
  • Preservatives: These are added to food to prevent spoilage and extend shelf life, but some people may have allergic reactions to certain preservatives.
  • Colorings: These are added to improve the appearance of food, but some artificial colorings have been linked to hyperactivity in children.
  • Flavor enhancers: These are added to food to improve their taste, but they can also cause headaches and allergic reactions in some people.


Understanding food additives is important for making informed decisions about what we consume. While many food additives are safe for human consumption, some may have negative health effects for certain individuals. By decoding food additive codes and learning about their effects, we can make more informed choices about the food we eat.

Spotting Misleading Marketing Claims

Learn to Read Between the Lines

A food product label can be a minefield for the average shopper. Companies often use misleading marketing claims to make their product appear healthier or better than it really is. To avoid being tricked, it’s important to learn how to read between the lines and spot these claims.

Beware of Buzzwords and Catchphrases

One common trick is the use of buzzwords and catchphrases. Words like “all natural,” “organic,” or “gluten-free” are often slapped on packaging to draw in consumers, but their actual meaning may be unclear or irrelevant to the healthfulness of the product. Always check the ingredients list to determine if a claim is valid.

Tip: Look for third-party certifications, such as the USDA Organic label or the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. These prove that the product has met certain standards and can be trusted.

Pay Attention to Serving Sizes

Another way marketers can trick shoppers is by listing nutritional information for unreasonably small serving sizes. For example, a package of cookies may claim to be low in calories, but only if you eat one cookie. Make sure to check the serving size and do the math to determine how many calories and nutrients you’re really consuming.

Research the Company’s Reputation

Finally, it’s always a good idea to do some research on the company behind the product. Check their track record for honesty and transparency, and look up any lawsuits or controversies they may have been involved in. This can give you a better sense of whether their marketing claims can be trusted or not.

Tip: Use online resources like consumer watchdog websites or social media groups to get the inside scoop on a company’s reputation and practices.

  • Don’t fall for misleading marketing claims on food labels.
  • Learn to read between the lines and spot tricks like buzzwords and small serving sizes.
  • Research the company’s reputation before trusting their claims.

Understanding Expiration Dates

Expiration Date vs Best By Date

It’s important to understand the difference between expiration dates and best by dates. An expiration date means that the product should not be consumed after the date on the label, as it may become unsafe to eat. On the other hand, a best by date indicates that the product may not be at its peak quality after that date but is still safe to eat.

Types of Expiration Dates

There are several types of expiration dates to be aware of. “Sell by” dates are used by retailers to indicate how long a product should be on the shelves. “Use by” dates tell consumers when a product is at its peak quality and should be used by that date. “Freeze by” dates indicate the last date to freeze a product for optimal quality.

Looking for Clues

When in doubt about a product’s safety, be sure to look for clues beyond the expiration date. Check for signs of spoilage, such as mold, odd smells, or changes in texture or color. Remember that some products may still be safe to eat even if they are past the expiration date, while others may not be.

  • Highly perishable items, such as fresh meat and dairy, should be consumed before the expiration date.
  • Canned goods and non-perishable items may still be safe to eat after the expiration date, but be sure to check for signs of spoilage before consuming.

By understanding expiration dates and keeping an eye out for warning signs, you can better protect yourself and your family from consuming expired or spoiled food.

Comparing Brands and Products

Check the Serving Size and Servings per Container

One of the most important things to consider when comparing food labels is the serving size. Be sure to compare the serving size of each product to ensure you are getting the same amount of food. Also, pay attention to the number of servings per container to ensure you are comparing similar quantities.

Compare Nutrient Content

When comparing labels, be sure to look at the nutrient content of each item. You want to look for products that have less saturated fats, trans fats, and sugar. However, you want to look for products that have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Pro Tip: One easy way to compare the nutrient content of two products is to look at the % Daily Value (DV) listed on the label. This will tell you how much of a certain nutrient is in one serving based on a 2,000 calorie diet. If a product has 20% DV for fiber and another has 5% DV, you know that the first product has more fiber per serving.

Ingredients List

The ingredient list is another important factor to consider when comparing brands and products. Be sure to look for food items that have natural and recognizable ingredients. Try to stay away from products with long ingredient lists filled with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Pro Tip: Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so the first ingredient is the most prevalent in the product. If sugar is the first ingredient listed in a product, it probably means that the product is high in sugar.

Price Comparison

Price plays a significant role when comparing brands and products. The cheapest option might not always be the best option, but that doesn’t mean the most expensive option is the best choice either. Compare the price of different brands and products and choose the one that fits your budget and nutritional needs best.

  • Check for sales or promotions to save money
  • Buy in bulk to save money in the long run
  • Consider the added value, such as buying an organic or locally-sourced product

Knowing When to Shop Organic

What Does Organic Mean?

Organic produce and food products are grown or produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In order to use the label “organic,” producers must follow strict guidelines set by the USDA.

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When Should You Buy Organic?

While organic food is generally considered healthier and better for the environment, it can also be more expensive than conventionally grown food. However, certain foods are more likely to be contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals, making them worth buying organic. These include:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes

On the other hand, foods with thick skins or protective coverings are less likely to be contaminated, so buying organic may not be as important. These include:

  • Avocados
  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mangoes
  • Papaya
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage

How to Identify Organic Products

If you’re unsure whether a product is organic, look for the USDA organic seal on the packaging. This indicates that the product has been certified organic by the USDA. You can also look for the word “organic” on the label, but be aware that products marketed as “natural” or “eco-friendly” may not necessarily be organic.

Label Claims Meaning
100% Organic The product contains only organic ingredients and has been certified as such.
Organic The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
Made with Organic Ingredients The product contains at least 70% organic ingredients.
Natural The product does not contain synthetic ingredients or artificial colors or flavors, but may still contain pesticides or other chemicals.

Overall, it’s important to consider both the health benefits and the cost when deciding whether to buy organic. By using the information on food labels and doing your research, you can make informed decisions about what you eat and how it’s grown.

Applying Your Knowledge to Make Informed Choices

1. Check the Serving Size

Always pay attention to the serving size listed on the food label. This information is critical in understanding the nutritional value of the product. Many food companies manipulate serving sizes to make their products appear healthier. For example, the serving size for soda may be listed as eight ounces, but a typical bottle contains two or more servings.

2. Focus on the Key Nutrients

When reading food labels, it’s important to focus on key nutrients such as calories, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Aim for products that are low in these nutrients or contain no added sugars. You can also check for the presence of beneficial nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

3. Beware of Misleading Claims

Food companies often use misleading claims on their labels, such as “all-natural,” “organic,” or “low-fat.” Do not rely solely on these claims; instead, check the nutrition facts panel for the specific information that you need. Remember that “low-fat” does not necessarily mean “healthy,” as it may contain high amounts of added sugars or sodium.

4. Compare Brands and Products

Be sure to compare different brands and products for their nutritional value. A lower priced product may not always be the best choice in terms of nutritional content. Consider the serving size, calorie count, and nutrient content before making a buying decision.

5. Use a Food Tracker

Using a food tracker app or website can help you keep track of your daily calorie and nutrient intake. This can be especially helpful when trying to make healthier food choices. By tracking what you eat, you can identify problem areas and make changes accordingly.

6. Shop the Perimeter of the Store

When shopping for groceries, try to stick to the outer perimeter of the store where fresh produce, meat, and dairy products are typically found. Processed foods with long ingredient lists and added sugars are often located in the center aisles.

7. Plan Ahead

To make healthier food choices, plan your meals and snacks in advance. This will help you avoid impulsive purchases and unhealthy choices. If you don’t have time to prepare meals, look for prepackaged options with simple, whole ingredients and minimal added sugars and sodium.

8. Practice Moderation

Remember that no food is off-limits. It’s important to practice moderation and balance in your diet. Treat yourself occasionally, but be conscious of what you’re consuming and the impact it may have on your health.

Food labeling jargon decoded
Term Meaning
Organic The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
All-natural There is no official definition for this term; it is often used to imply that a product is free of artificial ingredients.
Low-fat The product contains no more than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Reduced sodium The product contains at least 25% less sodium than the regular version of the product.
Gluten-free The product does not contain any gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Questions and Answers:

What are some common misleading terms on food labels?

Some of the most common misleading terms on food labels include “organic”, “natural”, “low-fat”, “reduced sugar”, and “gluten-free”. However, it’s important to understand that just because a label includes these terms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is healthy or nutritious.

What should I look for when reading food labels?

When reading food labels, it’s important to pay attention to the serving size, the number of calories, and the amounts of fat, sodium, sugar, and fiber. Look for products that are high in fiber and low in sugar and sodium. It’s also a good idea to check the ingredients list to make sure the product doesn’t contain any artificial additives, preservatives, or sweeteners.

What’s the difference between “best before” and “expiry” dates?

The “best before” date on a food label indicates the date up to which the product will retain its quality and freshness. After this date, the product may still be safe to eat, but its flavor, texture, or nutritional value may have deteriorated. The “expiry” date, on the other hand, indicates the date after which the product may no longer be safe to eat. It’s important to check both dates before consuming a product.


Olivia Brooks

As a person who is health conscious, I always check food labels before purchasing any product. However, after reading this article, I realized that there are a lot of things that I may have been ignoring. The article explained how food manufacturers trick consumers with the packaging and labeling of their products. For example, they may use misleading claims like “all-natural” or “organic” when in reality, the product is not as healthy as it seems. Moreover, I learned that there are some technical terms that I did not understand before, such as serving size and percent daily value. These terms are crucial in determining the actual nutrition content of a product. The article also provided tips on how to interpret food labels effectively, such as checking the ingredients list and looking for hidden sugar and salt. Overall, I found this article insightful and educational. I will definitely be more careful when reading food labels in the future, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It’s essential to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies and not fall for misleading marketing tactics.

Madison Knight

As a woman who is interested in maintaining a healthy diet, this article on how to read food labels without being tricked was really helpful. It’s frustrating when companies use sneaky marketing tactics to make their products seem healthier than they really are. I learned how to spot the more deceptive labels and what to look for instead. The tips on looking at the serving size and the ingredient list were especially useful. It’s also reassuring to know that there are regulatory agencies that ensure food labels are honest and accurate. Overall, this article was a great resource for navigating the confusing world of food labels.

James Collins

As someone who is health-conscious, I find the tips outlined in this article extremely valuable. It can be difficult to navigate food labels without being tricked by misleading information. Learning to spot key phrases and ingredients can make all the difference when trying to make the healthiest choices for oneself and their family. The article also highlights the importance of looking beyond the front label and reading the more detailed nutrition facts panel. I appreciate the emphasis on avoiding added sugars and paying attention to serving sizes. Overall, a helpful and informative read for anyone looking to make more informed food choices.