Ingredients Lists Are Important Too

— Written By and last updated by Nicole Vernon
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Does anyone look at the ingredients list? Yes, but what about you? If your answer is no, maybe the following information will give you a couple of good reasons to start looking at it.

  • Ingredients listed on the label are all the ingredients in the package. However, they are not listed in random order. Instead, they start by listing the ingredient which the product contains more of (by weight) at the beginning, and ends with the ingredient the product has less of. Therefore, if you are a parent and want to buy cereal, surely you do not want “sugar” to be one of the first three ingredients.
  • It might not say “sugar”, but added sugar can have many names such as high-fructose corn syrup, honey, caramel, sucrose, maltose, etc. What is the second ingredient of your favorite soda?
  • Just because a product claims to be made from grains and/or wheat, this does not mean it is a whole grain product. A whole grain product will have the word “whole”  listed as one of the first three ingredients. (As seen in Example 1). Example 2 is not a whole grain product.

    Example 1Example of a whole grain ingredient list.

    Example 2Example of an ingredient list for a product that is not whole grain.

  • If a product has a very long ingredients list, this would indicate that it is highly processed.
  • It can help us find food allergens, such as wheat, milk pecans, etc.

These are just a few reasons why we need to take the time to look at the ingredients list the next time we are in the store.