The term is not formally defined by the Food and Drug Administration. But, the government agency doesn't object to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.
Natural does not mean organic or healthy. So, always read the ingredient list to really know what's in a food.
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The term organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy, as evidenced by organic candies and baked goods. Once again, when buying packaged food, the real litmus test is the ingredient list.
The Organic Seal indicates that food was produced without industrialized substances and under humane conditions. It goes from “100% organic” to "Made With Organic Ingredients"(the product was made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, with restrictions on the remaining 30%, including no GMOs.)
There is no formal national definition for the term local. What local does not mean is organic or more nutritious, which is something many believe.
“Gluten-free” does not indicate that a food is whole grain, organic, low carb, or healthy. In fact, many gluten-free foods are highly processed and include ingredients like refined white rice, sugar, and salt.
The FDA defines as “gluten-free” the food that limits gluten to less than 20 parts per million (ppm).
Grass-fed does not mean that the cattle's feed is organic, or that they aren’t given hormones or antibiotics.
The USDA defines that grass-fed cattle must be fed only mother's milk and forage (grass and other greens) during their lifetime, and the animals must have access to pasture during the growing season.
Chips are not the most nutritious option for snack time, but baked versions usually contain less fat than traditional varieties. But, this drop in fat can be offset with increased sodium and sugar.
Bake your own veggie chips at home.
In general, a lengthy list of ingredients means a food’s been highly processed, especially if it contains refined sweeteners or additives like soy lecithin, glycerin or guar gum.
Manufacturers can use synthetic fibers or other nutrients to boost their nutrition label, the ingredient list can better clue us in.