You can go into the supermarket without seeing all the advertising designed to make you buy the product. It’s important to read the label carefully because many of these advertising claims are designed to be deceptive. The words healthy natural and low-calorie are splashed across the front of everything from cookies to ice cream. You’ll find them on healthy foods and on foods packed with sugar and fat.
The best defense against deceptive advertising is to inform yourself about what is healthy. You’ll find the information you need in the small print on the label. Read the nutrition information carefully. Look for deceptive terms and misleading statements. A can of cola labeled “natural” contains just as many calories and sugars as the name brand. The difference may be in the preservatives or some other ingredients. A”natural” soda is just as fattening as any other.
Why should you look for? Here’s some of the deceptive terms commonly used in advertising food products:
Everyone wants their food to be all-natural, and yet this term really doesn’t mean anything about the nutrition. It indicates that no artificial flavorings or preservatives were used. Natural flavorings and preservatives may still be included along with a full dose of sugar and fat. All-natural is good, but it does not indicate a diet food.
Low fat is another potentially deceptive term because it only addresses one aspect of the food. Usually, low-fat foods are higher in sugar and may even be higher in calories than the full fat alternative. Be careful that you don’t choose a more fattening product in an effort to save a few grams of fat. While you should consider the fat content a few foods carefully and aim to reduce the fat content overall, consider each low-fat food individually and decide whether belongs in your diet plan.
Multi-Grain and Whole-Wheat
Multi-Grain and whole-wheat are sometimes deceptive. You may have believe that the product is 100% whole-grain, while in fact it only contains a little whole grain flour for flavor. Look for the term 100% whole-grain and read the ingredients label. A 100% whole-grain product will not contain refined or bleached flour.
Organic foods are grown by natural methods. The term organic refers to the way the food is grown and produced but it is no assurance of the nutritional value. Organic cookies and organic ice cream are just as fattening as the regular kind.
Being aware of how these terms are used will help you avoid mistakes and keep your diet on track. We’ve labeled these terms deceptive although they do have their place. The key is to read them carefully and don’t misinterpret them expecting a diet friendly product.