Knowing what all natural means on food labels

Knowing what all natural means on food labels

by Pamela Ng 02 Feb 2020

For those who are trying to make wise purchasing decisions in the supermarket by opting for foods that are labelled with the words “all natural”, you may want to hold up. 


The truth is that strict, universal guidelines and procedures have not yet been created to properly define and regulate the term “all natural” in food labels. In the most basic of understandings, as long as the product doesn’t contain synthetic or artificial ingredients, there is often no objection to the use of the term “all natural”. However, that is a blanket statement at best. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that these “natural” foods will actually be good for you. Here are some things you can do to deem if a product is worthy of your purchase:


1. Check for added ingredients

Some ingredient labels of food products include the mention of “added flavour” or something or other. Even if they come from a natural source, like raw cane sugar or fructose, it doesn’t automatically mean that they’re good for you. Even if your brain believes that nothing bad will come of it, your body is pretty much guaranteed to miss that memo.


2. Call the manufacturer

This may be too drastic an approach, but if you are concerned about the origins of the food and its ingredients, don’t hesitate to call (or e-mail) the help hotline and ask about it. There is a reason why contact details are often displayed on the packaging; justify your purchase by being doubly sure!


3. Check the nutritional label

Whenever you buy packaged food, be sure to take a good look at the nutrition label. It will give you a basic understanding of what you’re getting into in terms of nutrients and calories. If you’re overweight, not even the most natural of foods will help your condition if you’re consuming too much of it. Similarly, a slice of “all natural” bread will spike your blood sugar just as much as one from a baking factory would.


Due to the lack of proper guidelines, it is difficult for any consumer to say for sure whether the food product is “all natural” or not. Furthermore, there’s more to good nutrition than just where the food comes from. The best bet is to enquire about the food from the credible sources and to also do our due diligence by checking food labels. We can’t stop how food is marketed, but we can be critical of whether it truly is good for us!