The Truth about food labels

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Food manufacturers, like most pharmaceutical companies have not been very honest about their food labels. So why are they still on your favorite grocery store's shelves? Before you grab that 'fat-burning' juice drink or that 'calorie-free energy bar', you might want to read on what those labels actually mean:

Made with Whole Grains

Whole grains are healthy but only if they make up most of the product. Most food items with this label often have more sugar or salt than the actual whole grains. That defeats the whole purpose.


Experts believe that ingredients' list should be arranged according to the proportions on the product. This is not followed by most if not all junk foods you see in the market today. For example, cake products may put flour first but we all know a large chunk of that yummy cake is sugar. What's worse is that sugar may come in different other names: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup or juice concentrate.

Serving size

A certain snack bar says 'Only 50 calories'. That's good, right? NOT. The definition of 'serving' is largely misused in the food industry. One may say it's 100 calories per serving of soda but one bottle may actually have more than twice as much. Fooled? Does this mean you have to have 2 servings of your favorite soda?

Made with Real Fruit

There are many 'fat-burning' juices in convenience stores today. Do they really make you lose weight. Let's do that simple math. If you add one small bottle of juice, it may contain a certain amount of L-Carnitine. That's good. But these fruit juices still contain corn syrup which translate to candy sugar. It may even make you lose more weight. Lesson learned: just buy the real thing!

Zero Trans Fat

Trans fat are the bad cholesterol that lurks in your body. While most products have reduced (emphasis on the word 'REDUCED'), they've replaced it with Saturated fats - still a bad type of cholesterol. It won't help you have a healthy heart - it will just make you less guilty and more fooled.

There's more information you can read here:

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