Here at team Happy Jars, we devour the details on food labels - they make for great bedtime reading :). And no, we don't mean the front of the labels. To really know what's in your food, you turn to the back.
With so much mumbo jumbo about healthy eating and healthy food, and the recent spurt in immunity boosting foods, the need to read labels correctly is greater than before. There are plenty of products that will have a strong marketing message like "Fat free" or "No sugar" on the front, but their details are revealed in the ingredients list at the back. This makes it super important to be able to read product labels the right way, since that’s the only way to know what you’re eating.
Here's four things to know when judging your packaged food:
1. The first ingredient listed, is the main one
By law, the ingredients used in the product need to be listed in descending order of their use. So, the first ingredient you see is the most dominant one in the pack. In the case of nut butters, pay particular attention to what percentage of nuts are in the product, and how far down the list 'Sugar' appears. Happy Jars uses between 80% to 100% nuts across our range of nut butters which most other spreads don't match 🙂.
2. Sometimes there's 'Sugar' on the label though there's no sugar inside
Sugar occurs naturally in plants and so many things that we eat have sugars. The nutritional facts table on packaged food shows the total sugar present, that is both naturally occurring and what is added. So even unsweetened products will sometimes have sugar content in their nutritional facts. Take our unsweetened peanut butter as an example. It has nothing except peanuts in it. So the sugar shown in the nutritional facts table at the back of our label refers to the naturally occurring sugar in the nuts themselves.
3. 'Sugar free' can still have chemical sugar substitutes
Xylitol, Maltodextrin, Aspartame and Saccharin are all chemical sugar substitutes. Packaged food that use these sweeteners may technically be declared 'sugar free' on the label, so read the fine print in the ingredients list for these. Here at Happy Jars we don't use these at all, and we don't believe in substituting unhealthy sugars with chemicals (also unhealthy). We use jaggery instead, which is a natural sweetener that has its own health benefits. And when something doesn't taste as good without sugar (chocolate, yum!) then we try to reduce the amount of sugar we use as much as possible.4. Some Fats are good
The unsaturated kind to be specific. Unsaturated fats are good for the body - they are essential because they give you the energy you need to go on about your day. We've made sure to pack each Happy Jar with at least 80% nuts making them a great source of the 'good fat' you need!
As a team we have always believed in clean labels and making our jars with as few ingredients as possible. We put in only what we know, keep in our kitchens, and don't need to Google 🙂.
As a brand that vouches for all things healthy and clean, we’d never keep you in the dark about what we put in our jars. Feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, WhatsApp or email if you have any questions!