Do You Know What Is In Your Food? Part 6 of 6

Do You Know What Is In Your Food?

Part 6

Parts 6 is our last installment of our walk through the grocery store to provide you with advice and recommendations concerning the ingredients the food products offered in those departments.

As in the previous parts, this article will aim to help you be more able to critically read food labels and ingredient lists so that you may select the product that best fits your needs. Nutrition tips and names of some recommended food brands will also be provided.

To help make healthier food purchases, you may want to review Part 1 that defines what ingredients to avoid: food additives, artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings as well as farming practices.


Part 6 – Beverages, Protein Powders, and Fiber Supplements



For the best quality tea, buy whole leaf tea found in the bulk section. Finely ground tea tends to make the tea more bitter. Further, avoid potential pesticide contamination by buying organic tea. If you prefer prepackaged teas, here are some excellent brands of tea.

Recommended tea brands: Four Sigmatic, Tazo, Celestial Seasonings, Traditional Medicinal – Organic, Pukka -Organic, Choice -Organic, and Good Earth.


Much like tea, coffee will be best if bought as whole beans and ground as you need it. Other characteristics that you may wish to consider are: fair trade (a pledge to pay small growers a fair price); shade grown (ecologically sustainable), organic (again, avoiding pesticide contamination) and no added natural flavorings.

Recommended coffee brands: Peace Coffee, Equal Exchange, Alakef, and Farmer to Farmer.

Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages can vary greatly as to what nutritional value they have to offer. For the most part, sodas contain a lot of added sugar, artificial flavors and colorings. For those that prefer more nutritional beverages, it is best to stick with water and flavored juices. With juices, however, be sure to check the amount of sugar added per serving (4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar).


Recommended water brands: Pellegrino Mineral Water, Essential H20, Crystal Geyser, LaCroix, Field Day.

Recommended soda/ flavored juice brands: Zevia -zero calorie soda with stevia, Izze sparkling flavored juice.


Protein Powders

There are many different types of protein powder supplements, which offer varying nutritional benefits. Whey is a complete protein source that has many amino acids (building blocks of proteins) and is easily digested. Certified grass fed and organic whey protein ensures no use of pesticides in the making of the product. Ingredients you want to avoid: maltodextrin, artificial additives and fillers.

Recommended whey protein powder brands: Garden of life – Raw Organic Whey Protein (Grassfed), Four Sigmatic – Organic, Sprout Living – Epic Protein, Paleo Pro (Ancient Cacao), and Rebbel – Dairy Free, Low Carb with Stevia.


Fiber Supplements

Fiber supplements come in three forms: powders, pills and gummies. The ingredients you want in a fiber supplement are organic and consist of inulin, prebiotics, psyllium husk and seeds (chia, flax). Ingredients you want to avoid: sorbates, sucralose, sorbitol, and artificial flavorings. It is difficult to find fiber supplements in gummy form that don”t have a lot of undesirable ingredients.

Recommended fiber supplements: Garden of Life, NOW, Natural Factors -Organic, (NON-GMO, Gluten Free, and Low FODMAPS), Terry Naturally.


Thank you for walking through the departments at Fresh & Natural with me as we discussed the ingredients that are in the everyday foods that you purchase. I hope this survey of the major food groups will help you make healthful choices in your future grocery shopping.



Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: She will look forward to meeting you!