On the rare occasion I go to a grocery store, I am always happy to explain to people how to read nutrition labels.
But the best eating choices are for foods that do not require one.
However, the thing to be aware of is how legislation views food.
Because in Canada, the peel of an apple is deemed the package and that being the case, means all kinds of shellacks and wax and chemicals can be applied for freshness.
The first thing to understand about nutrition panels is understanding the layout.
The more important the information is, the smaller the typeface and the less accurately it will be described.
Most labels are in marketspeak not scientifically described.
calories are the total energy the food has and most of that will be in carb form. Complex (unseparated ingredients, ie whole grain, complex molecule that takes energy to break down) or simple (refined, simple molecule absorbed as energy, ie white flour, table sugar).
whole foods contain some of protein, fat, carbs, fiber and nutrition in the form of minerals and vitamins
so the nutrition panel is about not giving you really enough information at a glace
but in addition to that panel, you need to read the ingredient list
and that is where the magic really happens, because now, you have to have a chemistry degree to understand most of it
here’s a sample of labels that appear on ingredient lists
the law is that they must be listed in order of greatest to smallest portions.
so, when a bottle says “100% Juice” and the first ingredient is Water, then juice concentrate (water and juice)
even factoring for that most of the juice out of the plant is in fact water stored by it, it’s not pure juice when concentrated, which destroys most of the nutrition, which is then reconstituted and then chemically returned through the natural and simulated flavours market speak which is vauge phrases for chemical shitstorm
so this is one of the few juice brands that I buy
oh, when I had to take insulin before I ate, it was a ratio of insulin to the total carbs minus the fibre.
so the more fibre you eat, the more your body balances the carbs
which is what refining does, it takes out the chaffe and fibre and reduces the food to the reward purity part
in a way, it’s not that different from making drugs purer.
in fact, sugar is probably the simplest form of morphine/heroin on that track of reward consumables
so really, it’s not pot that’s the gateway to reward seeking behaviours, it’s potatoes.
and making alcohol from potato.. vodka and other spirits
is the start of most of the social problems
the only good thing that came out of prohibition was, for a while, domestic abuse rates went down when people couldn’t use booze to excuse their behaviours
the nutrition in in the peel or just under it for most fruits and veg and also, where the fibre is.
so it’s not packaging, it’s part of the food, eh?