What influences your choices when you go grocery shopping? If you’re like many shoppers, you look for foods that are healthy and satisfying. But if you’re trying to lose weight, that can be a confusing process. New research out of Cornell University suggests that some of us are making grocery shopping mistakes that could cause weight gain.
Organic Food: Better For Your Diet?
One study conducted by the Cornell University Food and Brand lab found that when foods are labelled “organic” people tend to think the food has fewer calories. In addition, shoppers were willing to pay more for organic foods simply based on the assumption that those foods were better for their diets.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should look for food that has fewer calories. But whether a food is organic does not affect it’s calorie content. For example,if you scan the calorie counts for both organic and non-organic oatmeal cookies you’ll find that calorie counts on most brands – organic and non-organic – are about the same.
What Color Is Your Food?
Another study conducted by Cornell evaluated shoppers’ responses to the color of the Nutrition Facts Label. When the label was colored green, shoppers tended to think that the food was healthier, even though the actual facts on the label were no different than the facts on a black and white labelled product.
How to Avoid Grocery Shopping Mistakes
If you’re trying to lose weight, the best way to purchase cheaper, lower calorie food is to get the facts – the nutrition facts. Read the Nutrition Facts Label and ignore other advertising cues. These cues might include words like “healthy” “organic” “wheat” or “diet.” Food manufacturers may also try to lure you in with green colors, natural looking images and wholesome packaging. None of it matters unless the claims are backed up on the official Nutrition Facts label.