It is never easy while shopping to understand the complexity of the nutritional panel on packaged foods. Even after you have brought them home and have the luxury of time, sometimes they still make no sense.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says that labels with the fewest ingredients are best. We try very hard to adhere to this advice. We try very hard not to have long labels, labels with extra parentheses in them, or ingredients best found in a Chemistry lab. We do have some products that have these but they are usually for diet restricted customers or customers who have chosen not to eat certain foods. For instance, we use butter and not margarine unless the product is vegan. Then we use Earth Balance Vegan Butter Substitute. This has been approved by the CFIA but it makes our labels very long.
The most important part of any label, is the ingredient list. If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't eat it. However, there are some very healthy ingredients that are very hard to pronounce. Quinoa (Keen-wa) is one of them. It is very important to know what is in the bread, square, cookie, etc. BEFORE you look at the Nutritional Facts panel. Sometimes things are not what they appear. For instance if you look on the panel and it says that there is 4.5 grams of fat, you may put the item back without knowing where the fat came from. Is it good fat or harmful fat? Check the ingredients first!In the case of our PCE GO BALLS, the fat actually comes from the seeds in the product and is all healthy fat.
I could go on to site many facts from many sources but what it really comes down to is this: You are personally responsible for what you eat. No one is making us eat things we shouldn't. It is up to us to check labels and ingredient lists so that we make the best decisions for ourselves.
And as always, if you are going to change your diet (what you eat) drastically, please check with your doctor, dietitian, or naturopath.