When you are trying to a lead a healthy lifestyle, you know that the food that you put into your body is important and you probably try to make good choices when you are at the supermarket. However, food labeling can be very misleading and there are a lot of terms out there that might lead you to believe you are getting a certain kind of product when in fact this is not the case. Below are nine of the most common terms the food industry uses to mislead their consumers.
The second that “organic” food got popular, the food industry starting trying to manipulate what this involves and now it can a bit of a gray area. If you are not sure, look for products that have the USDA Certified Organic seal on them: they are guaranteed to be non-GMO and are subject to regular inspects and pretty high standards.
This term has been so twisted by the food industry that it has become essentially meaningless and there are many chemicals and additives such as MSG that can sneak in under the “all natural” label. It is best to avoid any food that does not list ALL of its ingredients.
A manufacturer can use this label if a cow was fed grass at any point in its life and can still also be grain-fed and injected with growth hormones or antibiotics. Again, look for the USDA certification label if you want meat from cows that have been grass fed their whole lives.
There are many different terms for “sugar” that labelers can use, and often the same product will have several different kinds of sugar listed in their ingredients under different names. Be sure to read the total number of grams of sugar in a product so you know what you are getting.
When you see this on a product, be cautious: often is means that the product has been enriched because it has first been stripped of its nutritional value in the process of being manufactured. It is best to avoid products like this altogether if possible.
This sounds like a pretty innocent label, but it is best to avoid products that list this vague term in their ingredients: this spices are often chemically produced and highly processed and if you are truly trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, they likely have ingredients you do not want in your body.
“Fat Free” or “Low Fat”
Just because something is labelled with these terms does not mean it is healthy. Read the label carefully and check out all its ingredients – especially the sugar content – to decide if it is really healthy.
Much like the term “enriched”, this is a sign of a low-quality, highly processed food that has little nutritional value apart from what is artificially added to it.
This seemingly innocent term, such as in the phrase “No Added Sugar” simply means that there is sugar in the product already without the company having to add more to it. Read the nutritional information carefully to before purchase.
These terms are deceptive. Now that you know about them, however, you will be better prepared to be a savvy consumer in the super market.
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