Another written work that I’ve been working on with my nutrition group, enjoy!
Note: I wasn’t able to rotate some of the photos properly for this post, sorry for the inconvenience!
Virtual Grocery Tour
Grocery shopping can be a hard task to figure out, especially if you have no game plan whatsoever as to what to purchase. Many of us do have these so called, “lists” that we manage to write up accordingly in order to give us a basic guideline as to what we need to purchase.
However, what happens when there is a “goal” associated with this list? And by “goal”, what can this term mean when it comes to grocery shopping, and writing up lists?
The answer itself can be a challenging task, one in which may be difficult to figure out on your own without any follow up research beforehand.
The task is quite simple. Think of what you your goal will contain, in this tour opportunity I will be helping you out with the following: basic labelling techniques, identifying good drinks/proper grains, and what to expect once in store. This will all be done via “Virtual Grocery Tour”.
What exactly is a Virtual Grocery tour?
I’ll be guiding you alongside my journey into my local grocery store, and lead you into the aisles of certain foods/drinks without the hassle of any movement from you whatsoever. How will that be done you may ask? Via photos, commentaries associated with these photos, and more importantly guidelines and techniques to prepare you for your own grocery visit.
Stepping foot into your grocery food store can be rather fun, especially when you have a certain mindset put for yourself. At times it can also be rather difficult as well, my purpose and take home message is to allow you to think “outside” the box, but also look at the box as well, no pun intended…
Here’s a picture of what I’ve encountered in the drinks aisle. Sports drinks and energy drinks galore!
Pay close attention to how the nutrients are labelled in this example taken from a Red bull energy drink. Have a close look as to what these drinks have when it comes to sugar content.
First let’s get down to the “basics”, and you’ll soon find out that these mentioned basics will come in handy when it comes to finding other food/drinks that are unrelated to the ones I will be mentioning on this post itself.
Here’s the 411 on “Reading Labels”…
Reading labels can be cumbersome to most people who have no clue as to what they need to be looking at, and what certain numbers and portion sizes are equivalent to. These magical pictures will enable you to understand how labeling works, and what companies would like you to view. All of these will be broken down into steps, about five to be exact.
Step One: Probably the simplest task you can do is look at the top of the label to as to what the serving size entails. Many consumers read past the serving size, and go straight to the calories…WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG! Looking at the calories may seem to make sense to you right now, but once you find out the actual serving portion and then calculate the calories for that associated serving size, and then realize how much you actually ate…you’ll soon realize that the serving size may be way too small for your liking. At least it was for me in most cases.
Step Two: Calories. Now you can venture and look at the calories portion on the nutrition label. How much does it say? Does it shock you in comparison to its initial serving size?
Step Three: Daily Values. It is noted that daily values can scale from zero to a hundred percent, commonly anything over fifteen percent is considered a lot.
Step Four: Look for the nutrients you want more of. Examples: vitamin A, C, iron etc.
Step Five: Look for the nutrients you want less of. It’s best to not overlook these unwanted nutrients, because even if it’s something you want to avoid it’s still something you should take note of. Examples: fat, trans fat, sodium, etc.
For more information visit Eat Right at: https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Nutrition-Labelling/Decoding-the-Nutrition-Label.aspx
Now let’s get back into what’s in store, and take a look at vitamin water.
Note that the nutrition label is signifying the entire bottle in its nutrient values. It does show the vitamins that you would like to consume such as: vitamin C and vitamin B6, can you see the wording on the top right hand corner?
Let me type it out clearly for you, it says: “Do not consume more than 2 bottles per day”. Now why would such a company title their vitamin water that way? After some research on this subject, I found a compromising statement, “In fact, the product is basically sugar-water, to which about a penny’s worth of synthetic vitamins have been added. And the amount of sugar is not trivial. A bottle of vitamin water contains 33 grams of sugar, making it more akin to a soft drink than to a healthy beverage.” (Robbins 2010). With this being said, DO NOT BELIEVE in everything you read on labels. Vitamin water consumers follow the trend of being balanced, healthy and make proper choices in their lifestyle. However, it is clear to see that vitamin water is just plain sugar and water. Not added benefits really, well…there could be…if you consume a lot of it. Note that Coca-Cola makes this particular brand of vitamin water, therefore enough said there.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s okay to drink sugary drinks once in a while. However make good choices, and make sure you are informed with what is really in the drink’s contents.
Now let’s look at your grains portion. Breads in particular. As you can see here, there are a variety of breads to choose from. Whole wheat, white bread, rye bread, the list goes on. Which is best for your diet?
Here’s what you should know:
Wheat, in its natural, fresh-off-the-plant form, contains three components: the germ, endosperm, and bran layer. The germ contains loads of vitamins and minerals, while the endosperm is packed with protein and carbohydrate (Shoemaker, 2015). That being said, white bread will be made up of wheat flour that has been pretty much grinded up with the bran layer completely gone. This means that the majority of the wheat’s nutritional component is removed, whereas whole wheat is made using the wheat that has the bran layer still intact.
Manufacturers may add other grains to top off their breads to make the bread itself have other nutritional properties. They may add seeds to make it more appealing and add nutritive value to their bread, however it does not add any nutritional value to the consumer whatsoever.
Read up Emily Shoemaker’s article called, “Is Any Bread Actually Healthy?”: http://greatist.com/eat/best-healthy-bread
Here concludes the end of our virtual grocery tour. I hope you take home some helpful tips and messages from looking through labels and research as to what you’re really wanting to consume. The take home message from this trip is to be careful when it comes to reading labels, the manufacturers print and create looks for what the consume would like to view, not entirely the additive health benefits or actual nutritive content (or lack of), that it really has.
EatRight Ontario. (n.d.). Retrieved January 6, 2016, from https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Nutrition-Labelling/Decoding-the-Nutrition-Label.aspx
Is Any Bread Actually Healthy? A Must-Read Before You Buy Your Next Loaf. (2015, January 19). Retrieved January 8, 2016, from http://greatist.com/eat/best-healthy-bread
Robbins, J. (2010, August 5). The Dark Side of Vitaminwater. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/the-dark-side-of-vitaminw_b_669716.html