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Fake ‘Healthy Food’ Labels

Some food producers have noticed that camouflaging simple snacks with a healthier label will help them sale, particularly producers of processed foods.

They have figured out that adding certain healthy sounding or looking labels to their products might make them seem more nutritious than they actually are. Most companies have become so deceptive that the average shopper does not know the difference.

Grist.org put together a list of some of the most deceptive labels that might seem like they are advertising a healthy product, but in fact, aren’t. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Enriched: The original nutrients were all processed out so the manufacturers had to put a few back in.
  • Better for you: Than what? Guess what, it’s also worse for you. Than what? Real food.
  • Fat-free: Fat is not the enemy and fat-free doesn’t mean it won’t make you fat. It probably contains sodium, sugars, and additives to make up for the flavor lost by excluding fat.
  • Made with whole grains, real fruit, etc.: This usually means that the manufacturer added a little of the healthy ingredient so they could say “made with” on the package. Instead of eating something that is “made with” whole grains or real fruit, just eat whole grains or real fruit.
  • Zero grams trans-fat: By FDA rules, food can have 0.5 g trans-fat per serving and still be labeled “0 grams trans-fat.” Aside from being stupid, this rule means you still get plenty of trans-fat if you eat the whole box.
  • All-natural:This means it was made on Earth, from things found on Earth, not excluding any kind of chemical, genetically engineered (GMO) ingredient, or synthetic compound. The FDA does not define “all-natural” and does not restrict its use.
  • Helps Maintain/May Help: Manufacturers are free to say absolutely anything after vague phrases like this.

Processed food is not only bad for you, but it is bad for the environment as well. The only solution to avoiding fake healthy food and eating the not as healthy food is to eat real whole foods. Fruits and vegetables won’t try to advertise itself as being ‘enriched’ or ‘better for you’.

True healthy food doesn’t have to advertise itself.

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