Today I went to the supermarket to take a look at food with the Heart Foundation Tick. These items usually appear to be healthy choices and having such an organisation endorse the products makes many people confident of their healthy purchases. You can find the Tick on eggs, soups, breakfast cereals, juices, frozen meals and much more. Of course some of them (like a carton of eggs) are very good for you, but most of the other items are highly processed and don’t contain too many natural ingredients.
What happens is the food companies meet the criteria, then purchase the Tick to use on their packaging. According to the Heart Foundation website, in order to qualify for a Tick, food products are tested in a lab, and Heart Foundation considers “serve size, saturated fat, trans fat, salt and vegetable/fibre content”. On paper this sounds pretty good, but food companies can manufacture lots of junk food that meets these requirements.
So it doesn’t consider artificial ingredients, which obviously aren’t good for your body. The Tick also isn’t on very single healthy item in the supermarket. Firstly, you know that vegetables, fruits, meats and other whole foods are good for you. Regarding packaged food – the food company must apply for and purchase the Tick. So it’s up to YOU to figure out if you’re making the healthy choices you want.
On today’s supermarket trip I had a look at the ingredients of some different items with the Heart Foundation Tick.