Decoding Food Labels


I'm Madison Jules
Here's what I believe: everyone deserves to have access to the knowledge they need to understand what's best for them so they can make informed choices about their life.

That’s Healthy, Right…?

We’ve all been there – standing in the grocery aisle, squinting at the tiny print on a food package, trying to make sense of ingredients. 

Terms like “low-fat”, “natural”, and “light” are tossed around like confetti, making us believe we’re making a healthy choice. 

But are these labels really as trustworthy as they seem?

Here’s the cold, hard truth: these sneaky labels can lead us to eat more sugar, artificial flavoring, and unhealthy foods than we signed up for. 

Luckily, with a little bit of know-how and a dash of determination, we can uncover the truth behind those tricky terms and make choices that align with our health goals.

Keep Your Eye Out For ‘Health’ Marketing

Food companies are masters of marketing, using words like “great source of fiber”, “natural”, “fat-free”, and “gluten-free” to grab our attention and make us believe their product is the healthiest option. 

But not all that glitters is gold.

“Fat-free” might just mean “loaded with sugar”, and “made with real fruit” could translate to “contains a negligible amount of fruit”. 

Many of these so-called ‘healthy’ items are packed with additives and extra ingredients.

Why I Go For Organic

Organic products are more than just a fancy label; they’re a commitment to farming practices that prioritize the health of the soil, quality of the food, and, ultimately, the nourishment of our bodies. 

When we opt for organic, we’re saying ‘yes’ to more nutrient-dense foods and ‘no’ to synthetic pesticides like the dreaded Round Up, and GMOs.

One of my favorite ways to choose which products to purchase organic if you can’t go all organic is the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists.

You should generally purchase fruits and veggies that are on the Dirty Dozen list organic if possible, while the items on the Clean 15 list are shown to have less pesticide residue.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Maddie, organic can be pricey!” And you’re not wrong. 

But here’s the deal: investing in organic is an investment in your health, and there’s no price tag on that.

I love the quote: Pay the farmers now or big pharma later and it’s something I often remind my 1×1 clients when we work on budgeting for their health.

Budget-Friendly Organic Shopping Tips:

  1. Buy in Bulk: Purchasing organic items in bulk can significantly reduce the cost per unit.
  2. Choose Store Brands: Many stores offer their own organic brands, which are often cheaper than name brands.
  3. Shop Seasonally: Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season can be cheaper and taste better.
  4. Buy Frozen: Organic frozen fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh and have a longer shelf life.
  5. Look for Sales and Discounts: Keep an eye out for promotions and sales on organic products.
  6. Join a Co-op or Buying Club: These groups often offer discounts on organic goods and helps support local farmers.
  7. Shop at Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are a great place to find fresh, local, and often organic produce.

Flip The Label Before You Put It On The Table

So here’s my golden rule: Flip the label before you put it on the table. 

Take that extra minute to turn that package around and read the ingredients. 

If you see a long list of words that you don’t recognize, your body won’t recognize it either.


Budget vs. Boujee

  • DIY It: Make your own healthy snacks at home. It’s cheaper than eating out and you know exactly what’s going into your food.
  • Smart Shopping: Go for the store brands, buy in bulk, and always be on the lookout for sales.
  • Farmers’ Markets: Check out your local farmers’ markets for fresh and often cheaper produce.


  • Organic Everything: If you can, opt for organic. It’s better for you and your long term health.
  • Superfood Snacks: Invest in high-quality superfood snacks. They might be pricier, yet they pack an additional nutritional punch.
  • Specialty Stores: Sometimes, it’s worth it to shop at specialty stores for unique and high-quality ingredients.