In the meantime, how can you make sure you get the information you need while online shopping? The first thing is to remind yourself to check for it. Although Nutrition Facts labels and ingredients lists may not be as easily accessible as they are when you shop in-person, they’re available online more often than not. It may just take a little scrolling and clicking around to find them, Olzenak says.
See if the websites you go to let you filter by product classifications that you might see on the front of a food package, such as gluten-free or nondairy. “This could be helpful if you have a specific dietary need like celiac disease or lactose intolerance and want to narrow down what products could be suitable,” Cooper says. But you should still take the extra step to check for the full nutrition information, because such filters won’t tell you anything about the calories, added sugars, saturated fat, or other key nutritional components.
Also, remember that some of the healthiest foods—such as fresh fruit and vegetables and fish—aren’t required to carry a nutrition label at all, or are single ingredient foods, like brown rice or chickpeas. “I encourage my clients to choose whole foods that don’t need labels,” Cooper says “because the nutrition speaks for itself.”