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Sponsored: Short ingredient lists

Myth: We should only eat food with a short (4 or 5) list of ingredients.

Fact:  The desire to have a  simple/minimal list of ingredients is understandable but the number of ingredients does not necessarily mean that a product is healthier, more nutritious or better for you. Think about how many ingredients are in your favorite recipes that you cook at home!   

A couple of examples of items you might find while grocery shopping:

3 ingredients:

Potato chips:  potatoes,  vegetable oil, salt

3 ingredients:

Milk:  milk, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3

4 ingredients:

Cotton Candy - sugar, corn syrup, food coloring, oil

15 ingredients:

Almond Milk:  (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum. Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc, Gluconate, Vitamin A, Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.

Bottom Line:  Soundbite nurtition messages like, "only eat foods with a short list of ingredients" don't always hold true.


Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian


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