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Nutrition Labels | Enriched v. Fortified explained!

So how many of you have read “Enriched Bleached White Flour” and thought…”enriched” must be good.

The definition of enrich is according to freedictionary.com is….

en·rich

1. To make rich or richer.
2. To make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding: An appreciation of art will enrich your life.
3. To add fertilizer to.
4. To add nutrients to: The dairy enriched its milk with vitamin D.
5. To add to the beauty or character of; adorn: “Glittering tears enriched her eyes” (Arnold Bennett).
6. Physics To increase the amount of one or more radioactive isotopes in (a material, especially a nuclear fuel).

 

That all sounds good, right? Adding nutrients? Making more meaningful? rewarding? Think again!

Enrichment regarding food actually means adding back in the nutrients lost when a food was processed. Ew. As you know, I recommend eating REAL FOOD.  Don’t eat diet foods. Don’t eat fat free or sugar free foods. Eat the real stuff. So, processing is bad. Real is good. Therefore, enriching foods is bad. They are processed and all the nutrients are removed and then added back in.
So, enriched is bad. What about fortified? Well, it depends. [Why is nutrition so complicated?! There's never an easy answer!]  It depends on what is being fortified.  Fortifying foods is just adding nutrients in…not lost nutrients from processing. Just adding nutrients to a food? That should be good right? Well, not always….
So, if you’re adding Vitamin D to organic milk. That’s great if you’ve decided that organic milk is a “real food” that is a good addition to your diet. But, if you’re adding nutrients to sugary cereal, for example, the fortified nutrients are not going to make the sugary cereal all of a sudden good for you [or your kids].  Watch this video below…at least the beginning. Great points!

So, the long and short of it is…

Enriched. Bad. Processed.

Fortified. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. What’s being fortified? Was it good or bad before it was fortified?

Also….read labels. NOT the front of the box [where there are false statements trying to sell you something!]

Or just don’t eat things in boxes. Easier said than done!

Read the ingredients list. Now, when you see “enriched” or “fortified” in that ingredient list…you’ll know what it means!:)

Do you have any experience with enriched or fortified foods?

 

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