Think you know what you’re putting in your body for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Think again. Recent studies have shown that the food labels and buzz words adopted by popular manufacturers around the world may be a bit more ‘dubious’ than we had previously been led to believe. Here are a few examples of some of the more surprising revelations we uncovered when attempting to determine exactly what we were eating.
If you’ve been to the grocery store at any point in, say, the last decade, you’ve probably noticed the abundance of fat-related monikers, including “fat-free”, “low-fat” and “reduced-fat”, among others. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that a universal standard has yet to be adopted for these items. Inevitably, the only way to really known how much “good” or “bad” fat we are consuming in our meals is to check the fine print. The bold text on the box really isn’t saying much, after all.
The same distressing trends can be found in the world of sugar. Although you may think you’re doing your body a favor by switching to ‘sugar-free’ products, you may be doing more harm than you think, particularly if the product in question is replacing natural sugars with dangerous synthetic substitutes, many of which are loaded with calories. In extreme cases, certain artificial sweeteners have even been linked with more dangerous health problems.
All of this inevitably leads us back to one of our all-time favorite misleading buzzwords,
“natural”. It should come as no surprise that food manufacturers are jumping on opportunities to tag this word on their product, thanks primarily to the increased attention on the organic movement. That being said, the exact requirements stipulated for including these appealing terms on product labels are a bit more lenient than we may have thought previously, unfortunately.
Ultimately, the best possible strategy for maintaining a healthy diet is staying informed and educated on the products you consume. Consult labeling on foods always, and never take any lofty slogan at face value! That goes for any industry.