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  • Writer's pictureBITESIZE Nutrition

Keeping an Eye on Eco-Labelling and Hidden Nutritional Facts

Nowadays, it seems like we can't go to the grocery store without being bombarded with new "healthy" options. As consumers demand more health-conscious choices and want to know what they're putting into their bodies, with all the different labels and terminologies, it can be confusing to make sense of it all.

In this article, we will break down some of the terms you need to be aware of eco-labelling and hidden nutritional facts, so you can make smart, healthy choices for you and your family.

What is Eco-Labelling?

Eco-labelling is a voluntary labelling system that provides information about a product's environmental performance. It allows consumers to compare similar products and choose the option that best fits their needs. This includes things like energy efficiency, recycled content, and organic materials.

While eco-labelling can be a useful tool, it is important to keep in mind that not all eco-labels are created equal. In fact, some eco-labels are little more than greenwashing—a marketing tactic used by companies to make their products appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are.

To avoid being misled by greenwashing, always look for third-party certification when considering an eco-labelled product. This will ensure that the claims made by the manufacturer are backed up by an unbiased source.

What are Hidden Nutritional Facts?

In addition to being concerned about the environmental impact of our food choices, many of us are also wanting to make healthier choices for our own wellbeing. However, this goal can be tricky to achieve when food manufacturers aren't required to list all the ingredients in their products.

For example, did you know that "spices" is an umbrella term that can be used to hide less-appetising ingredients like MSG (monosodium glutamate)? Or that "natural flavours" can often include artificial flavours? This information is not required to be listed on food labels, making it difficult for consumers to make informed choices. Other terms to be conscious of, and potentially avoid are trans fat, sugar alcohol, and sodium nitrites.

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to become more label savvy and better informed about the food we're eating.

When perusing nutrition labels, always take the time to read the ingredient list carefully. If you're unsure about an ingredient, don't hesitate to do a quick Google search—you may be surprised by what you find out! In addition, familiarize yourself with common terms used to hide less desirable ingredients (like "MSG" or "artificial flavours"). Once you know what to look for, you'll be able to spot and avoid these ingredients a mile away.


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