Top Misleading Food Labels

Day in day out, we get new information about how food labels continue to mislead people by using keywords and notable statements that suit the public’s dietary needs and weight loss programs. However, this doesn’t discredit all food labels; there are other ‘”fat free” or “real fruit” labels that stand for the truth.
The FDA unfortunately doesn’t regulate all food labels. In simple words, manufactures use clever wordings and manipulative marketing in order to avoid being sued in a court of law, but all is not lost; you can read the labels carefully, and unveil the truth behind those fancy words. We are revealing to you the five misleading food labels that you should always look out for.

* Zero grams trans fat

Many people are avoiding trans fat like a plaque so some companies have either reduced or eliminated trans fat from their products. However, there are companies which have opted for manipulative marketing, indicating that the product has zero grams trans fat, but have failed to shed light on the product’s saturated and total fat content, which is equally important.

* All natural

This is probably the most abused, most misleading and highly used food labeling in today’s market. Many of the products that have the “all natural” stamp contain citric acid, corn syrup (high-fructose) and other synthetic additives. Make sure that you check the ingredients list in order to know what’s in the food you’re buying.

* Whole grains as in “Made of Whole Grains”

Some types of breads, crackers and rice products carry this label despite the fact that they are actually manufactured using mainly refined wheat flour. To be sure, check the ingredients and if you spot “enriched wheat flour” at the top chances are that your food contains a very small percentage of whole grains.

* Fiber

Fiber is highly beneficial especially in detoxification and the wellness of the digestive tract. Consumers are aware of this, and the demand for high-fiber-content products is increasing. Manufacturers on the other hand, label their products with the “a good source of fiber” stamp even when the said fiber is in fact isolated fiber like pectin, maltodextrin, gum or other purified powders that are added to boost the fiber in food.

* Low fat

The “low fat” label can mislead consumers. First of all, the product might be low in fat but loaded with sodium or sugar. This aspect will not be highlighted. Secondly, manufactures might use people’s health awareness and efforts to reduce the amount of fat they consume to their advantage, thus label their products “low fat” to increase sales. Don’t be fooled, as the product might be low fat in its nature, but feel free to check the rest of the stipulated nutrition facts and see if the product is well-balanced and beneficial to your health.

* Free range

Free range” label can be found on meat, eggs, diary and they mean that the chicken or a pig was not confined to a feedlot. What you don’t know is that the USDA regulations only apply to poultry, therefore other non poultry animals may be free range, but the products are not regulated by USDA, which may lead you to make certain conclusions which are not always right. One of them is that free range food is also organic…but if it is not specifically labeled as organic chance is that the animal may be fed non-organic.

* Fresh

Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice” You would think that it was made that day, but actually, it only means that it is not frozen and or that it is uncooked, but it is allowed to be kept on different temperatures or in protective atmospheres.

If you spend a little of your time to read the ingredients list and nutritional facts properly, you can easily evade the traps set by manufacturers and purchase healthy food for yourself and your family.

Image credit: mirabavutti / 123RF Stock Photo

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