Dr Oz: What Do Food Labels Really Mean?
Dr oz wanted to tackle the issue of food labels, saying that he enlisted an expert to help him decode what health food labels really mean. He welcomed Stefanie Sacks, author of What The Fork Are You Eating? Stefanie explained that the government doesn’t regulate labels, even though they do define some of them. She said companies take it upon themselves to put whatever labels or claims they want on their food.
Dr Oz: All-Natural Food Label
They first discussed the “all natural” label, which Stefanie said isn’t defined by our government. She said the label simply means minimally processed. She said the label is being put on everything from processed cereal to truly all natural oats. She said to look at the ingredient list, because they “tell the story of our food.” Dr Oz advised that the first five ingredients on all-natural foods should be recognizable.
Dr Oz: Antibiotic-Free Food Label
Dr Oz and Stefanie then discussed “antibiotic free” labels. Stefanie said it seems obvious, and said it’s defined by our government, the USDA, but it’s not highly regulated. You have to look for third-party verification to be sure, which means looking to see if it has been certified by the USDA as naturally grown.
Dr Oz: Are Whole Grain Labels Accurate?
Dr Oz said he finds “whole grain” to be incredibly confusing in both the bread aisle and the cookie aisle. Stefanie said ideally, we do want whole grain, if it’s truly whole grain. She said there’s a third-party verification, the Whole Grains Council, which will verify is whole grains are, in fact, used. She said that means the entire grain has to be in tact.
Stefanie said you can go and buy a loaf of bread that says whole grain on the label, but when you look at the ingredient lit, it says enriched flour is the first ingredient. You should avoid those breads. She said you want the label to say 100% whole wheat flour and you want other grains in there like barley, oats, and rye. Always check the ingredient list.
Dr Oz: What Is The Radura Label?
Dr Oz then shared a label and wanted to know how many people would recognize it. About 72% of the Facebook audience said they had never seen the label before, and Stefanie said it’s the Radura label, when is the symbol that shows that your food has been exposed to radiation to prevent food-borne illness, spoilage, and insect infestation. So it’s used for relatively good reasons, but you should still know what it is.
Stefanie said people should make choices from a place of knowledge so always look at the ingredients to make better choices.