Deceptive Conclusions Can Lead to Weight Gain


Woman Reading Food Label in Grocery Store

Choosing healthy foods is essential to living healthy and losing weight. However, claims made on food packaging labels today often make it difficult to make healthy choices. Make the wrong conclusions and you may end up packing on the pounds instead of losing them. Here’s a look at some of the deceptive claims you may see on food labels.

Healthy

A product labeled “healthy” has to meet certain criteria limiting the amounts of sodium, fat, cholesterol, and saturated fats while containing a certain amount of minerals and vitamins. However, these products still may have preservatives, artificial ingredients, and sugar. 

Natural

“Natural” products are not allowed to have artificial or synthetic ingredients. Products with this label still can have high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, ingredients that have been genetically modified, and they may be heavily processed as well.

Multigrain

Foods labeled “multigrain” have multiple types of grains, and they may sound healthy. However, the grains could be refined, which means the nutritious germ and bran have been removed. It’s better to look for products that say “100% whole grain” on the package. 

Reduced Sodium

To use this term, foods must contain 25% less sodium than the original version. However, if the original was very high in sodium, foods labeled “reduced sodium” may still contain a large amount of sodium in them. Look for foods that say “low sodium” instead, since they have to have less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.

Calorie Counts

When you look at the calorie count, keep in mind that the FDA allows companies to have up to a 20% margin of error on calorie count. That microwave meal that says it has 500 calories could actually have up to 600 calories.

Serving Sizes

Some foods that you may think contain a single serving can actually have multiple servings in the package. This means that if you eat the whole thing, you’re eating a lot more calories, fat, and sugar than you think.

It’s very common for foods to sound healthy, but they’re often packed with extra calories, fats, and sugars. Start paying attention to ingredients, serving sizes, and other label information to make sure you’re making wise choices that support your weight loss goals.

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