Hot Topic: Healthy Food Labels at the Market

by in Food News, January 30, 2009

Hate reading the fine print on food labels? Well, there’s good news. Grocery stores have found a way to help you shop for healthy foods.

This month Stop & Shop and Giant Food unveiled their “Healthy Ideas” plan. More than 3,000 products that meet select USDA standards will carry a bright green-and-blue symbol.

Big food companies such as Coca-Cola and General Mills also have added a similar “Smart Choice” logo on their healthier foods. The green checkmark helps shoppers quickly identify calorie and serving information.

This is not the first time we’ve seen healthy seals on foods. Check your pantry and you’ll likely find foods with The American Heart Association (AHA) “heart-check mark.” This symbol means a food contains 1 gram or less of saturated fat and 20 milligrams or less of cholesterol per serving and is a healthy option for folks over age 2.

I’ve also seen the Best Life seal at my local supermarket. This seal, created by Oprah’s guru Bob Greene, is on foods that contain one or more nutritious ingredients such as whole grains, healthy fats and fiber.

Which to Choose?
Any of these seals are a step in the right direction, but don’t live your life by them. They highlight healthy ingredients, but it may not mean they’re always the best choice and stocking up on packaged foods can get pricey. Continue to fill your cart with fresh fruits and veggies and use these to help learn more about your foods.

Have you seen any of these symbols or guides at your grocery store? What do you think?

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