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How to decode nutrition label 'secrets'

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Nutrition labels can be sneaky and hard to read, but learning how to decode them can prime the difference between healthy and garbage.  

Whole Foods Market's Dr. Akua Woolbright joins Deena to talk about correctly reading nutrition information and individual, family and community health.

Dr. Woolbright is the Senior Healthy Eating and Wellness Educator at Whole Foods Market. She offers free community education programs to Detroit residents.

Her duties at Whole Foods Market currently include conducting healthy eating classes for company executives and team members, customers, and community organizations. Dr. Woolbright is also a cooking instructor at 'The Cancer Project'.

Nutrition labels include a variety of information and can be confusing to the average consumer. According to Dr. Woolbright the most important information to pay attention to includes serving size, calories from fat, sodium, sugar and whole grains. Beyond the information listed at the top of label, such as serving size, sugar and fat, the ingredients list contains even more information to decode. So, just how do consumers quickly read nutrition labels to gain an understanding of healthy vs. unhealthy? Watch the video replay for tips from Dr. Woolbright.

Some of the products Dr. Woolbright exhibits are:

  • Serving Size: Vitamin Water and 365 flavored nutrient-enhanced water
  • Serving Size: Pam olive oil spray
  • Fat Calories: Horizon organic DHA omega-3 2 percent reduced fat milk and 365 organic low-fat milk
  • Sodium: Dr. McDougall's Vegan Split Pea Soup (large and small) and Health Valley organic no salt added Split Pea Soup
  • Sodium: 365 Whole Kernel Corn and 365 no salt added Whole Kernel Corn
  • Sugar: Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, Kashi Simply Maize, and Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Sugar: Lara Bar and Luna Bar
  • Whole Grains: Rudi's organic 100 percent whole wheat bread and Home Pride butter top wheat bread


As part of her work, Dr. Woolbright teaches health education, weightloss, nutrition and is a public health nutritionist.

Ongoing classes taught by Dr. Woolbright include:

  • 'Willpower and Dieting Don't Work': Dr. Woolbright will discuss why we naturally crave certain foods and how to end the cycle.
  • 'Four Pillars of Health': Learn how Whole Foods Market's healthy eating program is different than any other on the market. This plan will empower you to adopt a lifestyle that promotes optimal health, vitality, rejuvenation, and a healthy weight.
  • 'Food Label Reading': Join Dr. Akua Woolbright for a hands-on class that will demonstrate quick tips for decoding nutrition information panels and ingredient lists. Bring one of your favorite packaged food products for Dr. Woolbright to decode.
  • 'Making A Healthy Eating Plan That Sticks': Dr. Akua Woolbright will lead the group in an interactive discussion about the barriers to healthy eating and strategies and tips for creating a plan that works.


For more information on Whole Foods Market health tips, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

To register for classes, e-mail Dr. Woolbright at akua.woolbright@wholefoods.com.

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