Diane Atwood: Easier way to understand nutrition labels

Easier way to understand Nutrition labels.

(NEWS CENTER) -- If you're like most people trying to lead healthier lives, you spend a lot of time reading and trying to interpret labels. Diane Atwood, who writes the blog Catching Health, joins the Morning Report to tell us about a new online tool that should make it easier.

Diane Atwood:

Reading labels can be a challenge. For instance, if you're trying to cut back on the amount of sugar your kids eat, you need to know all the different names for sugar. Sugar may not be listed on the label, but if you see malt syrup or glucose or corn syrup, there is sugar.

I talked to Donna Blouin recently. She has five kids - two sets of twins. She tries to keep their sugar intake to a minimum and to stay away from non-GMO foods. She spent so much time in the grocery store reading labels no one wanted to shop with her. She would also go to different stores - the grocery store, health food store, specialty store to buy specific items.
Now, she relies on a new website to help her find what she's looking for.
It's called greenestbeans.com and it's the brainchild of Cheryl Phillips-Day from Kennebunk.
Cheryl did tons of research and pulled together a team of people who helped design and build her online search tool, which went live this summer.

Here's how it works:
1. You choose one of four product families: Food and beverages, pet food, health and beauty products, or cleaning products.
2. Next, you select a category, such as snacks and a type, such as cookies. You choose the characteristics you're interested in, such as gluten-free. You enter your zip code and click search.

Four items met my criteria of snacks, cookies and gluten-free. I also got additional information about each item and links - to nearby stores that carry the item or to buy it online.
I thought it was easy to use. Donna Blouin says since she started using it, she doesn't have to stand in the grocery reading labels for half an hour. She can go in, get what she wants and get out. For her, that's huge.


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