In our quest to eat better, we often look to the claims on the front of food packages to see whether we're making a good choice. Unfortunately, many of the words used on packaging and in ads are unregulated and purposely misleading. One of the words that causes me real agita is "Multigrain."
Whole grains are good, so products with names or descriptions with the word "multigrain" must be outstanding, right? Short answer is: Not really.
The long answer is that the word is not regulated. That means a food manufacturer can legally create a bread, a toaster pasty or a cereal with bleached white flour and loads of high fructose corn syrup, then throw in a few oats, a couple flax seeds and a few grains of millet and slap "Healthy Multigrain" all over the label. What we are looking for is a product that contains only whole grains, not "some grains" as part of a product that is nutritionally unsound.
So how do you know if a product claiming to be multigrain is a healthful choice? Take a look at the ingredient label! Not the nutrition panel with the numbers--go right to the list of ingredients. The ingredients should primarily be whole grains or whole grain flour with yeast. If you see the words "enriched flour," you're not eating a whole grain product. You can also look for the words 100% Whole Grain or Whole Wheat to indicate that the product contains whole grains, not just some grains.
When in doubt about any label claim, read those ingredient lists for the real story!
Looking for some support in making healthful choices? Let's talk! firstname.lastname@example.org