Misleading "Health Food" Labeling

If you’re trying to eat right and stay healthy, you probably read food labels to know what you’re getting. But the problem is, a lot of the labels on “health food” are actually misleading. Companies use buzzwords like “uncured” meat and “lightly sweetened” cereals to trick us into eating glorified junk food, according toDr. Marion Nestle,professor of food studies at NYU and author of“Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat.”She points out that food companies have one goal: to sell us products. And these are the sneaky packaging lingo we need to watch out for.

  • Lightly sweetened- The term “light” isn’t regulated, so you can call any amount of sugar “light.” Cereals like to trick us with this word, but when we read that the “lightly sweetened” cereal has 13 grams of added sugar per serving, we know it’s still half the amount a kid should have in a whole day.
  • Uncured meat- Cured meats, like bacon and sausage contain nitrates, a food preservative that’s been linked to cancer. So companies use the label “uncured” and we think it’s healthier, but astudyfrom Iowa State University finds that labeling is “confusing and technically incorrect.” That’s because “uncured” meats are actually still cured, they just use a different kind of nitrates, but they can still include cancer-causing compounds.
  • Made with real fruit- Nestle says this label is a sign there’s little to no fruit in it or that it’s been “processed beyond recognition. The way to avoid being duped is to read the ingredients, which are listed in order from greatest amount to least, so you can see where the real fruit lands on the list.
  • All natural- “Natural” is another unregulated term, so companies love to overuse it. A popular chocolate hazelnut spread got to use the “natural” label because it’s made with real nuts and chocolate, even though it’s full of sugar. So don’t believe everything you read on a food label.

Source:New York Post

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