Video: How To Read Ingredient Labels

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!

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82 thoughts on “Video: How To Read Ingredient Labels”

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  1. Thank you so much for all of the helpful information you share on your blog! I was wondering what you thought of Trader Joe’s Inner Peas. Would you consider those a good snack option?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. While the ingredient list is short, which is great, it has both refined oil and a preservative. This makes it unlikely to come home in Lisa’s shopping cart. :)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this information. Food labels are so misleading it seems unfathomable that they are allowed to do this. I just purchased your book as i have developed a real passion to live a healthy life for myself and my family. I just discovered your website it’s so wonderful thanks for your sharing your knowledge!!

  3. Hi Lisa! My name is April and I’m a teacher in Ellicott City, MD. I teach a class called Future of Foods which strives to teach kids how to make healthier food choices (among other things).

    Last week, the lesson was about reading nutrition and ingredient labels and we watched your video. The kids really enjoyed you and the tips you shared so I wanted to thank you for making this video. You made my job easier and reached about 120 kids! :-)

  4. Is there any one place to find bad ingredients on food labels? I had one last year that disappeared this year. You could search A to Z and it said what was ok or not.

  5. thanks for sharing this video. I have been switching to organic over the last few months and was introduced to your website through a friend. I am guilty of assuming that anything organic is good for you. Ugh, so much to learn still!! I cannot get my family to switch over to whole wheat pasta to save my life, so I have been buying organic regular pasta. Same with organic yogurt – they won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole!!! Baby steps.

  6. This was a great video, but showing a good option after each highly processed option would be really helpful to people who are new to label reading.

  7. Hi. Love your blog. I hear the word organic thrown around alot these days. Can you explain what that term means. Thanks

  8. Good Lord, there is no telling what all I have been eating!!. I thought that doing a pantry audit was good. SHRIEK!! I need to trash it all… I am assuming that you start off slow. Like with the crackers. If you find the correct ones..Meaning all organic then thats the ones you keep buying? What about cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pies. Do you make any?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Victoria. Yes, it takes some time to figure out all the details that work best for you. You do not have to trash everything at once (though many do). You could consider doing the mini pledges which can ease you in one change at a time. And yes, Lisa makes a bit of everything. Just peruse the recipe index: :)

  9. Loved your video, and since finding your site I have slowly changed what we buy. The only thing is I would love to see a video with some alternative choices for things like crackers. As of right now we don’t buy any crackers because I was overwhelmed trying to find a alternative my kids would eat.

    1. I found a cracker I love at Whole Foods. It is their brand, looks just like a Triscuit, but only contains whole wheat and I believe salt. Much blander that Triscuits, but with a chunk of cheese they taste great!

  10. Thanks for the info! Super helpful. However, you didn’t elaborate on what the 5 whole ingredient thing is… Can you explain that part a little more? Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jane. We use the 5 ingredient rule as a marker to help people when choosing foods that are least processed. The more ingredients, typically, the more processed…especially if those are ingredients that you wouldn’t see in a whole/real foods pantry. There are, obviously, exceptions but 5 ingredients is the yard stick we use. :)

  11. Christine Oler

    I have absolutely loved you blog! The recipes are easy to follow and it makes me so happy that my family of six is trying to eat “real food”. I am looking for some advice though. Somethings my kids just won’t give up. Especially when it comes to yogurt. My daughters love fruit or granola with yogurt. I have started buying plain, whole yogurt and flavoring it myself. But my kids absolutely hate it! I have to admit, I put a lot of vanilla flavor in and I was still on the fence! Any suggestions?

    1. Try adding honey or maple syrup to sweeten it, then add fruit/granola. I also just add some of my homemade freezer jam (which I still made with sugar this last batch, but plan to use Lisa’s recipe next time).

    2. All yogurt is not created equal. We buy to a locally made organic yogurt that tastes so much better than the ones we’ve purchased in the super market. I have bought branded yogurt in a pinch and my kids definitely noticed the difference. We do put honey and berries and sometimes granola in the yogurt. I wouldn’t bother with vanilla. Vanilla requires sugar to taste good.

  12. 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! 😀