The adage goes ‘your body is a temple’ and treating it as such requires a careful understanding of what is going into your diet. However, food labels are often inundated with jargon which is either misunderstood or just not understood at all.
Often, we as consumers are pushed towards organic produce, but how does this differ from natural produce?
Typically, this has to do with the regulation of ‘natural’ foods, of which there often is none. Implications of this being that so-called ‘natural’ foods may contain additives such as preservatives. On the other hand, organic food sellers have to adhere to strict guidelines regulating what can and cannot be termed ‘organic’. Newcastle University have found that the consumption of organic food is recommended, as they contain between 19%-69% more antioxidants, hosting a plethora of health benefits.
While organic food may be healthier for daily intake, this often comes at a higher cost. Typically, organic foods are more expensive than products marketed as natural, and significantly more expensive than processed foods. Despite this, however, the long-term benefits of eating a diet free from chemicals & toxins may be worth considering, especially if you are also providing for young children etc.
In today’s relatively health-conscious society, replacing sugar in one’s diet has become a norm. But, food labels can often offer confusing messages, presenting products to be ‘unsweetened’ whilst others are termed ‘sugar-free’. Produce labelled as unsweetened are free of additives such as artificial or processed sugars. These may contain naturally occurring sugars such as fructose. Food producers are mandated to label products as ‘sugar-free’ if they contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, meaning whilst the label may say ‘sugar-free’, the food itself may not necessarily be completely sugarless.
Whether or not you are someone who has taken up the decision to remove sugar from their diet, understanding how sugar is labelled in what you eat is important. Sugar is a leading cause in a number of health risks including high-blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease and cancer. As such, actively seeking to reduce sugar intake is important in the maintenance of vital organs and general health.
Dieting trends have become a normal part of contemporary living, with many people turning to vegetarian and veganism to better their health. Amongst these is raw eating; raw eating can be understood as the eating of foods in their natural occurring state. Proponents of this diet will be quick to tell you that by cooking food, you are actually depleting their naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Raw eating should not be confused with clean eating, however, which encompasses a diet of eating unprocessed foods. This means no sugars, no preservatives, and definitely no fast foods.
With dieting trends ongoing, it becomes increasingly important for individuals to understand both food labelling and its repercussions in their health and wellbeing.