The Sherlock of Food Labels
The Ingredient List– Comparing Peanut Butter labels
Yes, you’ll need your magnifying glass as the ingredient list is the smallest font size and the lightest ink color, however it remains the most important information on a food label. Skip the advertising on the front and dig through the clues on the ingredient list. Although you’ll get a few clues from the Nutrition Facts label, it’s the ingredient list that will help you solve the question, do I buy this product?
Let’s take a look at peanut butter which is a legume butter (another example is soy butter) not a tree nut. Today we’ll compare an average non-organic brand: Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter.
Here’s the ingredients for the “All Natural” Nutty product:
Ingredients: Peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt.
Here’s the ingredient list for the “Natural Style Reduced Fat” product:
Ingredients: Peanuts, maltodextrin, reduced fat ground peanuts*, salt.
*Ingredients not in regular natural peanut butter
Disclosure Information: Reduced Fat. 25% less fat than regular peanut butter. Contains 12 g of fat compared to 16g in Regular Peanut Butter. . .
This happens in most low-fat products. Processed ingredients like Maltodextrin are added, in most cases for filler or texture. In peanut butter it’s most likely added for texture to replace the fat removed. Maltodextrin is a highly processed food additive, a starch derivative in the US usually of corn, rice, potato and usually in Europe of wheat. It is often sweet or flavorless and added to many foods and supplements.
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