Food label confusion
Multi-grain, no sugar added, zero trans-fat, fat free … the list of buzzwords to attract consumers to purchase certain foods is endless! But just how accurate are these claims?
What do you think of when you buy “free range” products? Although the u-s department of agriculture does define the words free range, health-dot-com reports there are no requirements for the duration, amount, or quality of outdoor access for these animals. So that “free to roam” chicken may really just be exposed to the outdoors for a very limited amount of time. And watch out for products labeled “fat free” or “sugar free”.
“Something has to replace flavor and it’s either fat or sugar if the fat goes down then the sugar goes up,” said Nutritionist Kaye-Ann Taylor, RD.
Look out for the word “light.” Manufacturers have been known to refer to the flavor rather than the ingredients. Also, “made with organic ingredients” just means 70 percent or more of all ingredients used were grown or processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Many “gluten free” products contain extra sugar and fat to make them tastier, and they may also be packed with extra salt as well. Finally, “multigrain” means the food contains more than one type of grain, but these could be refined and stripped of their nutrients, making them just as bad as their bleached white counterparts!
When you do check ingredient lists and nutritional information, watch out for serving sizes. Food manufacturers have been known to list tiny, unrealistic serving sizes to make a product look low in fat or calories.
Contributors to this news report include: Gabriella Battistiol, Producer; Jamison Koczan, Videographer and Editor.