Foodfacts.com points out that you might think you can read those labels, but there are some nutrition label facts you might not know. The following are just a few of these secrets of the food industry.
Low Fat Means What?
According to FDA rules, a product advertised as “low fat” must have 3 grams or less of fat per serving. The food companies aren’t going to directly lie and get themselves in trouble, of course. If a product says “low fat,” you can bet the nutritional label will say there are 3 grams or less of fat.
The FDA rules, however, do not specify what a “serving” is. If the serving size chosen by the manufacturer happens to be a fourth of the amount you typically eat, then you may actually be getting 12 grams of fat per serving. Legally, if they wanted to, they could call pure butter “low fat,” just by specifying a small dollop as a “serving.” Look at the size per serving listed on the package, and consider what amount you’ll actually eat at once.
Look closely at those fruit spreads that claim to be just fruit. They may be more condensed fruit syrup (essentially sugar) than fruit. For example, some “only fruit” strawberry jams are as little as 30% strawberries. The rest is syrup made from condensed apple juice or other cheap juices. This is fruit? Yeah, and when you drink a cup of corn oil it’s just like eating fresh corn, right?
Now, you may think that if the fruit is the first ingredient on the label it must be mostly fruit. Food manufacturers are required to list ingredients in order of quantity after all. But watch out! By including various forms of sweetening, manufacturers can make hide the fact that it is mostly sugar. For example, sugary syrups from apple, pineapple and grape juice might make up 25%, 25% and 20% of the spread respectively, leaving strawberries at 30%, or first on the list of ingredients, even though the spread is essentially 70% sugary syrup.
Hydrogenated Oil’s Evil Twin
Now that people are becoming aware of the dangers of hydrogenated oil, some manufacturers are replacing it with “interesterified” oils. Unfortunately, scientists have found that these fats seem to cause a serious decrease in HDL or “good” cholesterol. They also cause a 20% increase in blood sugar levels. Both of these can increase the risk of heart disease. Watch for the words “interesterified” or “stearate-rich” on the label to avoid these fats.
Natural isn’t automatically better or healthier. Cyanide comes from nature, after all, as do many toxic substances. In other words, even if the label “natural” actually meant natural, it couldn’t automatically mean the food is healthy. But the word doesn’t mean anything anyhow – at least not in the world of food marketing. There is no legal definition of the word “natural.” You can sell ground up plastic mixed with sugar and artificial coloring and call it “natural.” Many foods with the label have dangerous hydrogenated oils or highly processed (and unnatural) high-fructose corn syrup, for example.
More Subtle Nutrition Label Lies
How do you lie and get away with it? Say nothing. When it comes to nutrition labels, a lie of omission can be just as bad for your health as telling you an untruth outright. The fact is, food makers often let you believe what you want when the truth would have you leaving their product on the shelf.
For example, you may know that Salmon is good for you. It is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart, right? Well, it might be. Certainly fish processors are happy to have you believe this, but in reality much of what is sold in supermarkets is actually farmed Salmon. Farmed Salmon have 60% to 70% less omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain much higher levels of cancer causing dioxins and PCBs. They also contain antibiotic residue – more than meat or any other domestic animal products.
They are simply not very good for you. They are hatched in plastic trays, crowded in unsanitary cages underwater, unnaturally fattened using soybean pellets, and treated with antibiotics and pesticides. They have to be fed a synthetic pigment to give them their pink color. This pigment contains canthaxanthin, which was used in sunless tanning pills until they were banned for human use. The nutrition label won’t mention you these facts.
Food labels can be misleading and the ingredients are not always evident. If you especially want to learn more about the hidden ingredients within the foods you eat, FREE membership in Foodfacts.com is essential. Be sure to also check out the Food Facts Health Score. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Source: Articles Base