Food Label Lies

Find out if the healthy labels on your grocery items are loaded with lies or telling the truth.

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At the grocery store, you’re bombarded with terms like “whole grain,” “low-fat,” and “sugar-free.” But how can you know if they’re telling you the whole truth? We’ve investigated some popular but misleading supermarket labels to break down what’s really in your favorite foods.

“Lightly Sweetened”

This term isn’t officially regulated by the FDA, which means it could have anywhere from 1-100 grams – or more – of sugar. Instead of “lightly sweetened,” search for the label “No added sugar.” That label is FDA regulated, and can lead you to foods that will help cut your carb and calorie counts.

“A Good Source of Fiber”

While fiber is an important part of your daily diet, what’s more important is making sure you’re getting the right kinds of fiber. Packaged foods that use the term “a good source of fiber” sometimes use a fiber additive that’s not as beneficial as the fiber found in natural foods like whole grains and vegetables. While this label is not totally misleading, in order to get the best sources of fiber, make sure you eat fresh, whole, fiber-rich foods too.

“Made With Real Fruit”

More often than not, the fruit that’s advertised is not the fruit that’s actually in the item. While you think you’re getting one set of benefits from what’s advertised, you’re most likely getting something completely different. Not only that, but “real fruit” quantities aren’t regulated by the FDA so the amount could be so miniscule that it won’t have any beneficial effect on you at all. When it comes to fruit, just eat the real thing!

“Made With Whole Grains”

Many of these products contain only trace amounts of whole grains. They also most likely have refined corn flour, which has a high glycemic index and isn’t a very healthy grain. To make sure you’re getting the healthy, fiber-rich grains you want, look for “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grains” on the label. That way you’re 100% sure about the contents of the food!