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Sponsored: What do all the labels mean on your food?

Sponsored: What do all the labels mean on your food?
Image courtesy of HelloFresh.com

If you're trying to eat healthily, you've probably been there: standing in the middle of a supermarket aisle, gazing at the little white label. You have a pretty firm grasp of calories and carbs, but the label still leaves a lot of questions.

Isn't there such a thing as "good fat?" Does anyone actually eat 100 percent of their daily riboflavin? How come a bottle of organic fruit juice "is not a significant source of vitamins or nutrients?"

Nutrition labels are helpful, but they can still be confusing. Instead of sifting through all the numbers, you can consult someone who knows the healthiest combination of foods. You could talk to a dietician. You could hire a private chef. Or you could get the best of both worlds and subscribe to HelloFresh, which provides the healthiest ingredients and lets you cook the meals yourself.

For folks interested in improving their diet, the goal of a company like HelloFresh is to provide whole ingredients, which are non-processed and as organic as possible. All recipes are a collaboration between chefs and dietician, and the nutritional information is included in every kit.

The benefits of superfoods

Some of the best stuff you can eat is a "superfood." These are fruits, vegetables and legumes that combine a lot of health benefits at once. This is the exact opposite of a bagel: simple, unprocessed and delicious.

When you look at a nutrition label, you'll find that all the percentages are based on a roughly 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. So if you eat 2,000 calories between breakfast and dinner, you'll need a certain amount of thiamin and Vitamin B12 as well. You'll recognize a superfood because those numbers are high and diverse.

Avocados are one such superfood. They're packed with 20 vitamins and minerals, and they're a filling alternative to meat and soy. They're also unsullied by processing plants; the farmer picks it, and the avocado reaches your plate, soft and ripe and ready to eat.

Click here to read more about Del Rey Avocado, a generations-old farm in Southern California that supplies HelloFresh's Hass avocados.

Why "free-range" is better for you

Most meats are terrible for you, not because they come from animals, but because of the way the animals were treated before they were slaughtered. All across America, giant corporations raise animals in cramped conditions, pump them with hormones and chemicals, and kill them in medieval fashion.

A company like Murray's Chicken manages to supply large amounts of poultry without resorting to these kinds of factory processes. Murray's Chicken is family-owned, and the birds live natural lives. They don't receive antibiotics, and they eat a natural, vegetable-based diet. All of these things are good for you and far better than industrial, mass-produced chicken.

The best part: It's all fresh. Customers are guaranteed to receive their orders within 24 hours of processing.

Click here to learn more about Murray's Chicken.

Sustainability: healthy for you, healthy for the planet

It's important to be healthy and happy. But the best foods are also good for the environment. That's why sustainable agricultural practices are so important.

When you buy from sustainable companies, there's a trickle-down effect: Their businesses thrive, they're able to reach more people, and prices go down. You're basically investing in a healthier tomorrow.

Take Grower's Express: This HelloFresh supplier is a national company, but it's still farmer-owned, and it specializes in 40 different vegetable products, including a line of organic fruits and veggies. They use drip irrigation and soil mapping to save water, and they use integrated pest management to limit their use of chemical pesticides. Even their cooling facilities use energy-efficient technology.

Click here to learn more about Growers Express and their commitment to sustainable growing practices.

Sustainability is just as important underwater: Over-fishing is a major concern, both for seafood fans and for the commercial fishermen who rely on the bounty of the sea.

This is a challenge because the general demand for seafood is very high. People seek out fish like tuna because it's inexpensive, low in fat and packed with protein. Seafood is often a profound source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which can lower your triglyceride levels, ease arthritis and even improve your mood.

Commercial fishing ships have a bad reputation for indiscriminate trawling and catching dolphins and sea turtles in their nets. There are lots of irresponsible captains out there, which is why it's so important to support companies like Sea to Table.

Sea to Table is a HelloFresh supplier that specializes in cod, salmon and shrimp. The company partners only with sustainability-minded fishermen and every ounce of fish can be traced to specific waters. Only healthy fish, caught wild in unpolluted waters, make the cut. Meanwhile, all fish are found in domestic waters, which helps the American economy.

Click here to learn more about Sea to Table.

Nutrition starts at the source

Long before we look at those labels, an army of growers and distributors have worked day and night to raise those ingredients to ship them to you. High-quality produce requires a lot of care and collaboration.

Hungry yet? Click here for a $30 discount on your first HelloFresh order.

One thing to know before buying a food delivery service

When it comes to food delivery services, there are dozens out there to choose from. But which should you use, and what truly sets them apart in terms of value?

Before you buy, get the answers to these pressing questions by clicking here.

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