As a registered dietitian, I’m all for people reading labels and learning more about nutrition. I’m also really careful to make sure my clients know how to read the full label and don’t just focus on one ingredient. I believe in looking at the big picture of the foods you choose. That’s why when we zero in on one ingredient, sometimes we don’t get the full picture.
Take for example fat. A little fat in your diet is actually good for you and I love to cook with ingredients like avocados which are full of good fat and potassium. But if we remember the low-fat, no-fat diet craze of the 90s, we’ll also remember the introduction of a lot of processed foods that offered NO FAT — and a whole lot of chemicals in its place.
Same goes for sugar. We’re getting wiser as consumers and looking out for sugar is great. But when we only look at the sugar points on a cup of yogurt for example, we might mistakenly think that sugar is comparable to a cookie, candy bar or even a Twinkie. And that’s simply not the case because much of the sugar in yogurt is naturally occurring because of the lactose and fruit ingredients.