What every shopper should know about reading ingredients labels?

September 10, 2017

Have you ever stopped and taken a look at the ingredient list of a product you buy from the grocery store? You are probably thinking nooo. Ok Ok. I didn’t either until a couple of years ago.

Soo… Stop right now and go grab something from your pantry and read it.  

One of the things you will notice is most of the products have an ingredients list a mile long.  You are probably thinking ” What is all that?” That’s exactly what I was thinking when I started reading labels.  Why does it take 20 ingredients to make pancake mix? What happened to just flour, water, eggs and baking soda.  It was very confusing. 

Why should you care? Because it can affect your health that’s why.  There are so many products that can increase your risk of many health conditions and are in the foods you eat every day. Now, I  hope I got your attention. 

Sooo… Understanding how to read ingredient labels is so important because you should want to know exactly what you are putting in you and your families body. Have you ever stop to think what is in the food you are feeding your kiddos???  Don’t worry. I got you covered…keep reading.


  My rule of thumb is,

 “If a product has ingredients that you can’t pronounce don’t buy it!”


First thing first try to choose products that contain whole foods and not processed foods. The number of ingredients is also very important because the more ingredients mean the more processed the product is. Try to look for products with 5 or less ingredients.  The first ingredient listed is what the product is mostly made of. When shopping for food products don’t be fooled by what’s on the front of the package, the ingredients list will tell you exactly what is in the product.  When you first start, take a second you google ingredient that you are unfamiliar with. As you become more familiar with reading labels try to avoid the following items:

  • Artificial Dyes (Red, Yellow etc)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal etc)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Diet Foods (Foods labeled with diet)
  • Flavor Enhancers or Preservatives (Maltodextrin, Nitrates/Nitrates or MSG)


Here is a great resource that you can use in the grocery store:

  • Fooducate-  is an iPhone or Android App that can be used to scan products and see how they are graded based on their contents. It is graded is based on foods that have very little processed ingredients and a higher content of real foods. Give this app a try next time you’re in the supermarket.



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  1. Reply

    Emily | The Multitasking Mom

    These are great tips! I will definitely check out that app.

    1. Reply


      Thanks! I’ve been using the app I have been using for a couple years now and love it! Hope you enjoy it also.

  2. Reply


    This is an eye opener! I thought I was giving my kids some pretty good foods to eat … Not so much. It is definitely going to be a challenge to find a product with 5 ingredients or less for my picky eater, but I’m up for the challenge!

    1. Reply


      Thanks! I was in the same boat a couple years back. It was definitely a challenge when I first got my picky son on board. I’m glad the information was helpful to you!

  3. Reply

    Rhonda Swan

    Lots of value. Cheers to an unstoppable post!

    1. Reply


      Thank! Glad you enjoyed my post!

  4. Reply


    This is so helpful! Thank you! I’ve pinned it for future reference too. I have started becoming more aware over the last two years or so about what I’m putting into my body.

    1. Reply


      Great! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for the pin!

  5. Reply


    This is extremely useful info. Thank you!

    1. Reply


      Thanks! I’m glad you found it helpful!

  6. Reply

    Megan K

    Great reminder! I am always amazed how many things have MSG and high-fructose corn syrup in them… its unreal! Thanks for the post!

    1. Reply


      So true! Glad you enjoy my post!

  7. Reply


    So important! I don’t leave the grocery store without having looked at every single label on the things I purchased– more out of habit than anything (probably because I have a BS in dietetics). It is so empowering to know what is in the things I buy and to have the ability to put it back if there is something in it I do not want in my body. Keep spreading the news, Jameelah!

    1. Reply


      Thanks so much! I do the exact same time at the grocery store. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Reply


    I am totally getting that app! I have been really trying not to eat processed foods. What a great resource! Thank you!

    1. Reply


      Awesome! Let me know how it works out for you!

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