What Walmart's 'Great for You' food icon actually means

Walmart is a brand that's usually synonymous with discounted groceries and often carries items at far cheaper prices than other outlets. This, no doubt, is one of the reasons why the brand has made giant strides in the industry over the years and is considered to be one of the most successful brands in the country. According to Good Housekeeping, Walmart's journey first started when the brand's founder decided to come up with his own store after an unpleasant experience at J.C. Penney.

Well, Walmart really took off and is now so widespread in the U.S. that you'll never be too far from one of its locations. But no matter how much of a fan you are of Walmart, there are some things you may not be familiar with. For example, have you ever noticed the 'Great for You' seal on certain products at the store? You may have glazed over it or brushed it off, but it's certainly worth knowing what it means.

The 'Great for You' seal is a stamp of approval in terms of nutrition

According to the brand's official website, the 'Great for You' stamp can be found on or near food items that are recommended by Walmart as healthy, yummy options. A description on the site reads, "Great for You foods have more lean protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and less total fat, trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars." The brand first introduced the label in 2012 as it embarked on a journey towards promoting healthier food products (via Self).

Back then, former First Lady Michelle Obama supported the initiative. Self reports that she said during the label unveiling, "Today's announcement by Walmart is yet another step toward ensuring that our kids are given the chance to grow up healthy." Walmart's logic was simple: mark the relatively healthier products, such as whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and make them more easily identifiable for customers. After this first step, Walmart analyzed how much trans and saturated fat, sodium, and sugar was present in the items before assigning them a "Great for You" label. 

That said, most experts still felt that it was necessary to do your own research while buying products (via ABC News). This means it's best to read the nutritional information and make careful choices instead of simply grabbing something because of a label — even if it's supposed to be more health-conscious.