More importantly though 'Understanding' product labels, because I don't believe reading them is always the problem. The only bright side to this otherwise shady fad-diet craze that seems to be so popular in this country is that people are indeed becoming more aware of food labels, the problem is by "aware" I mean aware of their existence but not of any real understanding.
It's kind of like the engine compartment of that car you may be driving... you're aware that under the hood is an engine, but there is no real understanding of the basics.
I am constantly amazed of peoples' in ability to locate even the common food ingredient "no nos" like sugar or understand the importance of location for those like salt.
Take Glaceau's Vitamin Water... if you look at the ingredients you will notice the first three listed read as follows; "Vapor Distilled, Deionized, and/or Reverse Osmosis Water, Crystalline Fructose, Cane Sugar". What bothers me is that the marketing departments of these company's think that the average person is so unaware, so caught up in this fad-diet "lose weight quick" with little or no effort craze, and so easily distracted by such simple words like "vitamin" that we wouldn't notice that 2 of the first 3 ingredients are sugar; "Crystalline Fructose, Cane Sugar"! But what bothers me even more is that the average person is exactly that; unaware, so caught up in this fad-diet "lose weight quick" with little or no effort craze, and so easily distracted by such simple words like "vitamin" that they take the bait hook line and sinker.
Just to clear things up overly processed refined simple sugars are never good, so if you see them listed twice within the first three ingredients be wary; especially if the product is marketed as a healthy drink.
Another big thing to look for is the location of salt in the ingredients, and if you're eating process food (organic or no) than there is no doubt salt is in the ingredients and the majority of the time it's in the form of a simple salt (sodium minus any healthy trace minerals). It is important to choose the products that list it near or at the bottom of the list, it can be the difference of 100+ milligrams of sodium.
I want nothing more than to believe that people are not as gullible and easily misguided as these food manufactures would like us to believe; prove me right!