Don’t believe everything you read

Orlando, Florida. (Ivanhoe Newswire) Consumers are more health conscious than ever, so some food manufacturers are throwing out all the tricks to convince people to buy highly processed and unhealthy foods.

Class actions against food and beverage companies hit a record high last year, as consumer advocates resist food labels trying to take advantage of consumers. What you read on the packaging may not be what’s inside.

Healthy, all-natural, low-fat, humanely raised… the list goes on and on.

“It can be very misleading to the consumer.” Tara Collingwood, RDN explains.

Common misleading food labels include…”Made with whole grains.” This means that 100 percent of the grains used are whole. This really means that the recipe contains very little whole grain. Choose only products labeled 100% whole grain.

Collingwood further explains, “I always say it’s made with very little of that specific ingredient.”

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When the label says “multi-grain,” it’s referring to more healthy whole grains but many of these foods are full of refined grains, so nutritionists say ignore that label completely. “Natural” refers to the absence of man-made ingredients, organic and non-GMO. What do you really mean… absolutely nothing!

Collingwood states, “There are certain words that are not structured. So, for example, it is normal.”

And if the label doesn’t mention sugar as the first ingredient, that doesn’t mean the sugar content isn’t high. All of these ingredients are substitutes for sugar. And family farms are common now but be aware…the USDA says words can describe any farm where the operator or their relatives own at least half of the business, which adds up to 97 percent of the nation’s farms.

“I think instead of just looking at the front of the packaging, flip the packaging over and look at these nutrition facts.” Collingwood says.

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Therefore, to protect yourself, ignore the claims on the front packaging. Study the list of ingredients. Avoid foods with refined grains, sugar, or hydrogenated oils as the first three ingredients. Instead, choose the items with the whole foods listed above.

Resources:

5 Misleading Nutrition Labels

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Robert Woko, videographer and editor.

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