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With countless labels out there and so much confusion with what is classed as a natural food, a healthy food and an organic food. A walk into any supermarket and the shelves are inundated with labels about; ‘fresh foods, fortified food, organic ‘this’, extra ‘that’, 99% free of….’and natural being some of them.It’s an easy to confuse the terms ‘natural’ into thinking it means ‘organic, healthy’ but it could not be further from the truth. Watch “That Sugar Film’, which is a fascinating watch regarding this topic!

The term ‘natural’ means a product does not contain artificial ingredients.

For foods to claim a healthy status means that they still have nasty fats, sugars and salts but they have limits to the amounts that they can have so as to be “deemed healthy”.Organic labels indicate the product has been produced with no chemicals involved such as fertilisers but the food can still contain the likes of natural sugars. When it comes to meat and poultry the label natural means the meat product has been minimally processed and has no added preservatives, flavouring, colours or other artificial ingredients. This does not cover however the way the animal was feed or raised.

The labels ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ and ‘organic’ have connotations with well-being, making us believe we are choosing the best options for our health. However, care must still be taken as the small print often reveals hidden nasties. Some products may not be as beneficial for us due to the way they were processed or because of what they are naturally, for example hydrogenated vegetable oil, aka trans-fats, or high amounts of sugar in the case of a ‘low-fat’ product.

It may sound tricky, but it just comes down to looking past the bright labels and their claims and just focusing on the actual ingredients of the product.  Don’t let yourself be sucked in by the front label’s claims. Instead check the small print in the ingredients list on the back to ensure you know what you are getting.

Now here is the real scary part-the STATISTICS!

So remember: 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced last year that it is cutting its recommended sugar intake for adults in half, from the original 10 per cent of total daily calories to 5 per cent. For an adult, that’s about 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, per day.

Want to know what the average Australian consumes? 27 teaspoons of total sugars a day (including natural sugars)!!, (Sugar Consumption in Australia: A Statistical Update, 2012). Do you fall under that statistic? Time to start counting today!

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