Shoppers are confusing basic vitamins, minerals and ingredients and can’t tell the difference between the good, the bad or the ugly.

And it’s not because we aren’t concerned about our wellbeing – a third (32%) of Brits say that they are interested in nutrition and 22% class themselves as ‘foodies’, whilst 28% try to eat healthily.

Our campaign aimed at educating people on nitrates in drinking water found that nitrates are one of the most commonly confused elements:

91%

The majority don’t know that nitrates in drinking water can have a negative impact on health

77%

of Brits do not know what a nitrate is

5%

believe nitrates in mineral water – pollutants that enter the water table from agricultural fertiliser and leaking septic tanks – are healthy vitamins.

21%

believe nitrates in mineral water – pollutants that enter the water table from agricultural fertiliser and leaking septic tanks – are healthy vitamins.

In the nation’s thirst to eat and drink all the right vitamins and minerals, nitrates aren’t the only ingredients that are confusing. Over one in five (28%) think that mercury – a pollutant to toxic to humans – is either safe to consume or aren’t sure.

When figuring out fats, 32% of people don’t know if monounsaturated fats – a popular fat found in avocados – are good or bad for health. One in 10 (11%) don’t know that Omega-3 is a fat found in fish, flax seeds and walnuts with some people mistaking it for a watch brand.

Even though Vitamin C is the most popular vitamin for Brits, after the multivitamin, with 14% claiming to take it regularly, 35% of those questioned don’t realise it’s essential or health.

The most misunderstood minerals, vitamins and elements by the nation are revealed as:

Choline (88%)
Flavonoids (88%)
Nitrates (83%)
Monosaturates (79%)
Polyunsaturates (74%)
Vitamin A (73%)
Magnesium (70%)
Mercury (70%)
Zinc (68%)
Omega-3 (57%)