Video: How To Read Ingredient Labels

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I am super excited to share this video with you today. Reading ingredient labels is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to cutting out highly processed foods. And that’s because reading the ingredients is the number one way to know what’s in your food.

Honestly, food marketers make it no easy task though. They distract us with misleading claims on the front of the package and often use terminology that makes the product sound better than it really is. So watch along while I walk you through eight real life packaged food examples and explain how to decipher each of their ingredient labels!



Additional Food Label Resources:

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60 comments to Video: How To Read Ingredient Labels

  • Katie

    So helpful, thank you so much!!

  • Ariana

    Thanks do much for posting this video! I have become more interested in eating real and am more label literate. However, your video pointed out some things I didn’t know and am glad to have learned. Happy New Year!

  • Wonderful video – seriously valuable to me.

    I came here on recommendation from a blog, & have to say I am enormously impressed. Also, you’re very personable – but more than anything, you’re factual. Wonderful, thank you.

  • Jewell

    When your counting whole ingredients do you count all the different spices as one or as an individual ingredient?

    I have a few things i have found that are like 6/7/8 ingredients but it has several spices that are listed seperatly on the list pushing it over the 5 ingredients rule…

    Help please!! Thanks :)

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jewel. This is kind of a grey area. I think you are fine counting the spices as one. I would also say the same thing about counting a list of 100% whole grains as one. :) Hope that helps.

  • Meredith

    This was really helpful! I’ve been buying my kids some honey wheat pretzels that I thought were whole grain, but I checked the ingredients again after watching this video. The first ingredient is “organic wheat flour”, no “whole”! I found some other pretzels to try that list whole wheat flour as the first ingredient. Thanks!

  • Christina

    I would love to see a video or post with examples of the 5 ingredient rule:)!!

  • Tenelle

    Great post. Very informative. In addition to the foods that we put in our body, lotions, deodorants are just as important. Not sure if you pay attention to those, but there are so many unnecessary ingredients which equals unnecessary toxins in our bodies. All I can do is shake my head because the advertisements are so misleading!

  • Lacie

    Hi Lisa! Do you use the Cigna Fooducate app at all to help decide on what foods are “good” for you? Do you know anything about it? Think it’s accurate? Thanks!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Lacie. The Fooducate app is great for people who are trying to make better/healthier choices at the grocery store. It is somewhat less helpful when eliminating processed foods as a rule, simply because many real/whole foods have no ingredient label at all. :) ~Amy

  • Kim

    I have to say I may be trying this I feel motivated! Thank you

  • Dona

    Just wanted to say keep up the great work! I had to shop at Jewel (Albertson’s) yesterday due to the weather, and whoa! It is hard to find whole foods there! Even in the produce section, my kids complained that the oranges didn’t taste good. I am so fortunate to have a Whole Foods near by, but the state of a grocery store that the general population has to shop at has me horrified. Here’s hoping more folks catch on/follow you all! Happy new Year!

  • Yvette

    Very good info. Reading labels is sad because you realize that the things you have been consuming for years is not really food after all. I’ve been trying to go real food for a couple of months now. Challenging finding real food where I live.

  • Casey

    Somebody told me once (I apologize if it was you Lisa:)) taht the easiest way to avoid processed foods at the grocery store is to ‘shop the edges’. Most stores have produce, eggs, milk, meat, etc. around the perimeter of the store and the processed stuff in the middle aisles. It’s not foolproof but it works fairly well depending on where you shop.

  • Jenn

    So helpful and thank you so much. You do a wonderful job at explaining things. :)

  • Stacey

    Just wanted to say I love your site and your advice on reading labels. I learned to read labels years ago when Sugar Busters first came out. I lived the whole “low fat” phase of the late 80′s and early 90′s. I have witnessed so many inconsistencies in dietary advice that it has been confusing at times. Thankfully, I believe, we as consumers are wising up to the games food manufacturers make when labeling food. That being said, herein lies my problem. I live in a “poor” state. The nearest “city” is an hour away. (Refer to this news article as to why Whole Foods won’t build here: . The nearest Whole Foods is about 6 hours away. Shopping at Sunshine Health foods is a budget buster and lacks variety. The stores here carry very little organic anything. We are limited in our food choices regardless of our knowledge of or willingness to follow a whole foods diet. For now, organic isn’t really an option, and I feel others may simply give up if they can’t follow the plan perfectly. So it’s baby steps for us! I hope those who have full access to organic realize its not an option for everyone and also how fortunate they are.

  • DeAnne

    Hi! Love your blog. I was in the supermarket the other day and I found these: Utz Multigrain Tortillas, advertised as “All Natural, Gluten free, No preservatives, and
    No Trans Fat.”

    Ingredient list: Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn Flour, Corn Oil, Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, Flax Seeds, Oat Fiber, Evaporated Cane Juice, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa, Soy Protein Isolate, Sea Salt

    Seems fairly okay (especially for a convenience item) even if it doesn’t follow the “five ingredient rule.”

    What do you think? What exactly is Evaporated Cane Juice? And what is Soy Protein Isolate? I see these ingredients on labels for a lot of “health food items.” And was curious as to what they are? Do you know?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi DeAnne. Neither are ingredients we would have in our pantry and would avoid them in foods. Evaporated cane juice is sugar and soy protein isolate is a very processed form of soy (condensed to mostly protein) that no longer resembles the plant. :) ~Amy

  • Holly

    Thank you. This was helpful. Could you do one that shows more of what you found to be good, like the blue box of Annie’s Mac and cheese? That would save this mom of 4 some time with reading labels! 😀

  • Lindsey

    Your blog is so helpful and informative. Thank you for helping demystify some of the tricky language used on food labels!

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