Why do healthy foods often lack more complete micro-nutrient information on their labels?

Why is it that I can pick up a box of super processed breakfast cereal and see a long list of micronutrients proudly displayed on the package, but a can of spinach(for example) generally just shows a couple?

I would think that the companies selling such foods would want to show more, considering that many people probably buy junk food with a bunch of artificially added micronutrients to help them rationalize that they are healthy or not too bad(I have been "guilty" of that in the past).

Is it because of some legal red tape, or is there just not enough demand, or what? I assume it is probably legally easier to get artificially added nutrients displayed, is that why? If we could only see the nutrition facts labels of various foods, we might think that Fruity Pebbles or Pop-Tarts were healthier than fruits or vegetables. It seems absurd considering that whatever we think about artificially added nutrients, it is basically just like eating a multivitamin with our food.


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    Hi DanielShakleferd,

    Historically, whole foods have not been required to be labelled with the nutrition information, so I think it was just easier for food companies and grocery stores to leave it off completely - though some have added the standard nutrition facts table to some whole food products. Listing the entire nutrient content of whole foods would take up a lot of real estate on the product packaging, so that is likely holding many back too.

    Cronometer has a great whole foods database with the comprehensive nutrition information for these foods! Search in the Common Foods tab to limit your results to these databases whenever you want to check the nutrient content of whole foods.


    Karen Stark
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