Be An Ingredient List Detective!

Posted on April 11, 2013 by nichole There have been 0 comments

Peanut butter should contain one or two ingredients: peanuts and maybe salt. Unfortunately, many Americans are spreading partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and added sugar on their toast without even knowing it. If you have never read the ingredient list on your peanut butter or any other food product before purchasing it, then it is time to start becoming an ingredient list detective.

At nicobella, it is our pure and simple list of ingredients that separate us from the average chocolates. When deciding to treat ourselves to something special, why not make it the best quality? Be choosy. Pick a chocolate packed with a nutrient punch-no hidden and unhealthy additives.

Clever food marketers have mastered the art of using heart shaped labels and green check marks to mislead us into thinking that almost everything is a healthy choice. Just like we chuckle at infomercials that claim that the “Shake Weight” will make us look like fitness models, we need to develop the same skepticism to marketing ploys in the super market.

Keep in mind that order matters. Ingredients are listed in order of abundance. For example, if sugar is the first or second ingredient listed on your cereal box, maybe it is time to start exploring other options. And remember, sugar can have multiple names. Anything that ends in -ose (dextrose, maltose, fructose) and then the obvious corn syrup are forms of sugar. Here is a more complete list of sugars.

The ingredients in nicobella chocolates were chosen to make our truffles high in antioxidant ingredients such as walnuts, blueberries and green tea. Swapping out butter, cream and sugar in exchange for coconut oil, oat milk and a touch of agave nectar or brown rice syrup make our truffles half the calories and contain half the sugar compared to traditional truffles.

Become an ingredient list detective to know exactly what you are feeding your body. Your best line of defense is to flip the food product over and get familiar with the list of ingredients that is printed below the Nutritional Facts label.

An easy way to rid your food cabinets of those hidden unhealthy snacks is to be pro-active. Compare and contrast different brands. The following tips may help:

  • •Pick the brand that contains the least amount of ingredients.
  • •Pick the brand that contains the most recognizable ingredients.
  • •Ask yourself, “Would my grandmother use this ingredient if she was cooking?”
  • •The best food choices are the ones that come without labels and are the least processed (fresh fruits, plain oats, nuts, vegetables, beans…)


Here's to a happy, healthy you!

↑Avoid! Sugar, corn syrup + molasses within first four ingredients!

nicobella walnut truffle ingredients: organic walnuts, organic and fair trade dark chocolate (cocoa beans+, cane sugar+, cocoa butter+, vanilla), organic cocoa butter+, organic brown rice syrup, organic flaxseeds , salt †Fair Trade

Written by Katie Occhipinti, Nutrition Communications Student, Tufts University

This post was posted in healthy foods and was tagged with Chocolate, whole foods, ingredients, sugar, nutrition label