Food Labels, Truth in Advertising?

All-Natural! Organic! No-Cholesterol!


Grocery Shopping

As more and more of us are trying to eat healthier, more and more of these buzz-words are being added to food packages, competing to get our attention and get us to take them home. But what do they mean?

A recent post on the Food Network does a pretty good job of breaking down the basics of 10 of the buzz-words you’ll most likely encounter on your next trip to the grocery store. Here’s a couple examples, check out their article for the complete list.

#3: Trans-Fat Free
Trans-fat free is defined as a food that contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But be aware that trace amounts of trans fat can be hidden in these foods. The giveaway: look for words like “partially-hydrogenated” on the ingredient list. And don’t overlook the rest of the nutrition information — even if gummy bears are touted as “trans-fat free,” it doesn’t mean they’re a healthy choice.

#5: Sugars: Added Versus Natural
Some folks read the amount of sugars on a label and assume the sugar was added. This isn’t always the case. Take yogurt for example: It contains a natural sugar called lactose found in all dairy products. Look at the ingredient list to decipher if the sugar is natural or added to the product.

#8: Reduced-Fat
In some cases, reduced-fat may mean more sugar was added to replace some of the flavor. This holds true for peanut butter and that’s why it made our list of healthy foods to skip. Sometimes a small portion of the real deal is better than any modified version.

Food Labeling 101 via the Food Network

photo credit: Anthony Albright


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