February 17, 2016

Read the Label!

Whether you’re allergic or have food intolerance, it’s always important to read the label! My kids loved to watch GI Joe when they were little. I remember hearing …”and knowing is half the battle” over and over and over again during the PSAs at the end of the show. When it comes to keeping yourself from ingesting foods or medicines that will harm you, knowing really is half the battle. Reading the ingredients on product labels is a first line of defense to keep you from harm.

NutriLabelOf course it’s tempting to skip over reading labels. It’s time consuming and sometimes difficult when the text is in 2 point type. I’m most likely to neglect this task on products that I buy frequently. If I read the label a week ago, I think, why should I do it again? That’s just silly. But it isn’t silly because products change and I won’t know that unless I’m checking.

I also know that sometimes reading labels will lead to the recognition that everything that seems to trigger my dermatitis has the ingredient povidone or things that give me indigestion all contain corn in some form. Such an insight can quickly lead to an elimination of discomfort and an acceleration of healing. That makes me feel better and how can that be bad?

Still, you may think there’s no reason to read labels on items that logic dictates will not contain anything of concern. It may be time to think again. Not sure?

Take this quiz and see how you do:

Listed below are items that could be of concern to the allergic or food intolerant. Match the ingredient that is an item of concern with the product in which we found it lurking, then take a look at the answers and see how you did.

Item of concern – POVIDONE

A)Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon
B)Morton Iodized Salt
D)Dried Cranberries
E)All of the above

Item of concern – MAGNESIUM SULPHATE (Epsom Salt)

A)Hormel® Black Label® Bacon
B)Target Market Pantry Purified Drinking Water
C)HIllshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
D)Fiber One Chewy Bars
E)None of the above

Item of concern – AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT (Contains glutamates)

A)Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
B)Wonder Classic White Bread
C)Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch® Cereal
D)Van’s Gluten Free Totally Original Waffles
E)All of the above

Item of concern – CORN

A)Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy Yogurt
C)Honey Nut Cheerios
E)All of the above

Item of concern – NATURAL FLAVORS (May contain corn, gluten, or dairy)

A)Rice Krispies Cereal
B)Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake
C)Keebler Club Crackers Original
D)Pepperidge Farm Gluten Free Goldfish Mega Cheese Puffs
E)Cap’n Crunch Cereal

Item of concern – SOY

A)Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing
B)Campbell’s Cream of Potato Condensed Soup
C)Nacho Cheese Doritos
D)Manischewitz Egg Noodles
E)Schar Table Crackers

Item of concern – WHEAT

A)Kikkoman Soy Sauce
B)Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
C)Mission Garden Spinach Wraps
D)Thai Kitchen Curry Stir Fry Rice Noodle Meal Kit
E)All of the Above

Item of concern – PEANUTS

A)Philadelphia Cream Cheese
B)Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal
C)Special K Protein Bars
D)Honey Nut Chex Cereal
E)Wonder Classic White Bread

Item of concern – DAIRY

A)Coffee-Mate® Liquid Non Dairy Creamer
B)Phillips Coastal Crab Cakes
C)Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
D)Land O’Lakes Margarine
E)A & D, or B & C

Item of concern – Malt

A)Equate Ibuprofen Tablets
B)Werther’s Original Caramel Coffee Candy
C)Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
D)Chick-fil-A Vanilla Milkshake
E)Nancy’s Lorraine & Florentine Petite Quiche

Now, take a moment to review the answers below. Were your instincts correct? Were there any surprises? Did you discover a possible reason you are having symptoms?

Perhaps it’s time to consistently read the label. What do you think?

Povidone – C)Found in Tylenol
Magnesium Sulphate – B)Found in Target Market Pantry Purified Drinking Water
Autolyzed Yeast Extract – A)Found in Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
Corn Starch – E)Found in All of the Above – Yoplait Yogurt, Tylenol, Cheerios and Tums
Natural Flavors – D)Found in Pepperidge Farm Gluten Free Goldfish Mega Cheese Puffs
Soy – B)Found in Campbell’s Cream of Potato Condensed Soup
Wheat – E)Found in All of the Above – Soy Sauce, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Spinach Wraps, and Curry Stir Fry Meal Kit
Peanuts – C)Found in Special K Protein Bars*
Dairy – A&D)Found in Coffee-Mate® Liquid Non Dairy Creamer and Land O’Lakes Margarine
Malt – C)Found in Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

*Honey Nut Chex Cereal does not list peanuts in the ingredient list or a peanut warning, but is considered controversial by some. Consume at your own risk if you have severe allergies.–oz/1647