Nealy 59% of consumers are mislead by food product labeling. Here, I will talk about the most common labels that are slapped on food products that are not necessarily truthful.
- All Natural: All natural labeling is not closely monitered by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, this “all natural” food can contain preservatives or be injected with sodium, high fructose corn syrup. So “all natural” foods are not always that natural.
- Multigrain: Bread that is labeled with “multigrain” or “made with whole grain”, is not a 100% whole grain product. Whole grain products contain more fiber and nutrients than those that have been processed, which takes away the healthiest components of the grain.
- No Sugar Added: Foods such as fruit, milk, cereals and vegetables naturally contain sugar. So although these products might say no sugar added, they do still contain sugars. Additionally, some “no sugar added” products contain ingredients like maltodextrin which is a carbohydrate.
- Zero Trans Fat: Trans fat is bad for your heart and humans should ideally intake no trans fat. Although labels may say “zero trans fat”, products are legally allowed to contain less than .5 grams per serving.
- Free Range: Free range animals are allowed to be called “free range” as long as some of the animals have some access to the outdoors. This could be a a tiny dirt patch that a few chickens or cows roam around in for a short duration of time each day.
- Fat Free: Although companies began using alternatives to saturated and trans fat. However, these alternatives often contain nearly as many calories as full-fat versions. It is often smart to check the label for calorie content and compare it to the full-fat version.
- Organic: If a product has the USDA organic label, it often means that 95% or more of its ingredients were grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. However, a label that says “made with organic ingredients”, must have a minimum of 70% of all ingredients that meet the standard.