Recently I have covered various topics on food shortages, how to check what is in your products, and its quality with available apps. Today I watched a show on the marketplace, which I will add at the end, that covers the branding of products and how companies are branding their products healthy that are genuinely misleading.
Companies need to do a better job of being more transparent about their products. But, we as consumers also need to step up and say this is not ok from companies. We can do this by being better consumers, researching our products, and understanding labels because the company is not there for your best interest but for your money.
I feel there are some things you might buy on occasion for a guilty pleasure if you know the truth about the product upfront, but learning now that the company has fooled you, will you still promote that product?
First, let us better understand label claims to make better consumer choices, and if you read to the end, you will see some of your favorite products and how that company is trying to fool you. I find this concerning because some of the foods there we feed our kids thinking it is a healthy choice.
In recent years, the term “all-natural” has become increasingly popular. However, it is important to remember that not all natural products are created equal. For example, a product with 100% organic ingredients is not necessarily all-natural. To be truly “all-natural,” a product must be made without any synthetic or artificial ingredients. Additionally, “all-natural” products must not be processed using chemicals or other artificial means. Instead, they must be made using only natural methods and materials. By definition, all-natural products are rare and often more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. But for many consumers, the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are using a pure and unadulterated product is worth the extra cost.
“No sugar added.”
“No sugar added” is a label often seen on food products, but what does it mean? “No sugar added” means that no additional sugar has been added to the product during processing or packaging. However, it does not necessarily mean that the product is sugar-free. “No sugar added” products may still contain naturally occurring sugars and other ingredients that can act like sugars in the body. For example, many “no sugar added” products are made with fruit juices containing natural sugars. Other “no sugar added” products may be sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which can affect blood sugar levels similarly to regular sugar. Therefore, people trying to limit their sugar intake should be sure to read labels carefully before purchasing. Also, “No sugar added” does not always mean no sugar.
The term “reduced fat” is found on many food labels, but what does it mean? To be considered “reduced fat,” a food must contain at least 25 percent less fat than the regular version of the same food. So, for example, a reduced-fat ice cream would have 25 percent less fat than regular ice cream. While this may sound like a good thing, it’s important to remember that “reduced-fat” foods are still high in fat and calories. In addition, reduced-fat foods are often higher in sugar and calories than their regular counterparts. So, while reduced-fat foods may be lower in fat, they are not necessarily healthier. Therefore, when choosing between regular and reduced-fat foods, you must read the nutrition label and ingredient list carefully to ensure you get the most nutritious option.
“Light” or “lite” product
Regarding food and beverage products, the terms “light” and “lite” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. “Light” products are typically lower in calories, while “lite” products are lower in fat. As a result, “light” products are generally better for those watching their weight, while “lite” products are better for those concerned about their cholesterol levels. Of course, not all “light” and “lite” products are created equal. Read the label carefully to ensure you’re getting the most nutritious product possible. Compare different brands’ calorie and fat content, and choose the one that best meets your needs. And remember: even the lightest and lite-est food can be unhealthy if consumed in excess. So moderation is still key!
Most people think “low calorie” means healthy, but that’s not always the case. Just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Some low-calorie foods can actually be quite unhealthy. For example, many “low calorie” foods are high in sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can cause weight gain and other health problems. Additionally, many “low calorie” foods are highly processed and lack important nutrients. So, next time you’re reaching for a “low calorie” snack, read the label carefully to make sure it’s actually healthy. You might be surprised at what you find.
“Nonfat” is commonly used to describe food with all the fat removed. While this may sound like a healthy option, some health concerns are associated with nonfat foods. For one thing, the process of removing fat from food also removes many of the essential vitamins and minerals that are found in fat. In addition, nonfat foods often contain added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients to compensate for the loss of flavor resulting from the removal of fat. As a result, nonfat foods are usually not as healthy as they may initially seem.
Fruit-flavored products are not necessarily made with natural fruit. In fact, most fruit-flavored products on the market today are made with artificial flavors and colors. To make matters worse, these products often contain added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. If you want to ensure you’re getting a product made with real fruit, look for items that list fruit as the first ingredient on the label. You should also check the ingredient list to ensure that artificial flavors and colors are not included.
The term “gluten-free” has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, just because a product is labeled gluten-free does not mean it is necessarily healthy. Many gluten-free products contain unhealthy ingredients like refined grains, added sugar, and artificial additives. So if you’re looking for a genuinely beneficial gluten-free product, make sure it is made with whole, unprocessed ingredients and does not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients.
“Low-Carb” or “No-Carb“
Many think that products labeled “low-carb” or “no-carb” are automatically healthy. However, this is not always the case. Many low-carb and no-carb products contain unhealthy ingredients like artificial sweeteners, added sugar, and unhealthy fats. Additionally, some low-carb and no-carb products may not be as filling or satisfying as their higher-carb counterparts. So, if you’re looking for a healthy low-carb or no-carb product, make sure it is made with whole, unprocessed ingredients and does not contain any unhealthy ingredients.
Just because a product is made with whole grains does not mean it is necessarily healthy. Unfortunately, many products that claim to be made with whole grains are made with refined grains. To make matters worse, these products often contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and artificial additives. So if you’re looking for a truly healthy product made with whole grains, make sure it is made with whole, unprocessed grains and does not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients.
The term “multigrain” means that a product contains more than one type of grain. However, it does not necessarily mean that the product is made with whole grains. Many products that claim to be multigrain are made with refined grains. Follows like the whole grain above.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in all animal products, including eggs, meat, and dairy. However, cholesterol is not necessarily unhealthy. On the contrary, cholesterol is an essential nutrient that helps our bodies function properly. Additionally, dietary cholesterol has minimal effect on blood cholesterol levels. So, if you see a product labeled “no cholesterol,” it doesn’t necessarily mean the product is healthy. It may just mean that the product doesn’t contain any animal products.
The term “organic” means a product made with ingredients that have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. However, organic does not necessarily mean that a product is healthy. Many organic products contain unhealthy ingredients like refined grains, added sugar, and artificial additives. If you’re looking for a genuinely beneficial organic product, make sure it is made with whole, unprocessed ingredients and contains no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
“Zero Trans Fat”
Trans fat is a type of fat found in some processed foods. While trans fat is not necessarily unhealthy, it can have harmful effects if consumed in large amounts. Additionally, some people may be more sensitive to the effects of trans fat than others. So, if you see a product labeled “zero trans fat,” it doesn’t necessarily mean the product is healthy. It may just mean that the product doesn’t contain any trans fat.
Misleading Products that will shock you.
I will give you a short list of products from marketplace investigation that are truly misleading and the label has made you think otherwise.
Maple Leaf Foods Natural Selections.
- Clams: no added preservatives
- Reality: It contains nitrite, a preservative that may be linked to cancer, according to the Canadian cancer society.
- Company Response: company denied all claims.
- Clams: Daily pick-me-up Probiotic to help strengthen your natural defenses.
- Reality: Not scientifically proven
- Company: Forced to pay a $21 million settlement in the US and has not got approval from Canadian regulators.
- Clams: 13g of protein
- Reality: 5.7 g of protein is like any other cereal on the shelf; the other 7.3% of the protein comes from milk. They can validate the 13% because the box cover has the cereal and milk together.
- Company Response: Vector is a meal replacement, not a cereal, and follows those rules. They have included on side of the box protein information with and without milk
- Clams: Better-for-you healthy snack, and the name implies lots of veggies
- Reality: Ingredients are like standard potato chips. 240 calories and no vegetable has this many calories, says Dr. Robert Lustig.
- Company Response: declined to comment.
Welch’s fruit snacks
- Clams: Fruit is our 1st ingredient. Real fruit. They put the fruit in fruit snacks.
- Reality: Fruit puree is not fruit. When you boil fruit to make a puree, you change its properties, it takes out the fiber and is left with concentrated sugar. Always check sugars on boxes. It’s a candy and should be advertised as this.
- Company Response: They stand by their label and say it’s made with natural fruit. They were in lawsuits about the product and were either dismissed or settled. So they added to the label in small print, “Not intended to replace fresh fruit in the diet.”
Bolthouse Farms, Blue goodness delice bleu drink
- Clams: 7.5% servings of fruit per bottle with 21 % daily fiber.
- Reality: The fiber in the drink is an additive with a supplement called inulin and is not naturally occurring. The color to make the juice is also an additive. The product is all sugar.
- Company Response: Clam to the 7.5% of fruit they say will be taken off the label as of next year.
Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice
- Clams: Drinking a couple of glasses daily would affect blood pressure, cholesterol, and homocysteine levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Reality: As of 2019, Canada’s food guide no longer classifies juice as a serving of fruit because it is now considered a sugary drink.
- Company Response: There was a lawsuit against these clams:
Carnation Breakfast Essentials
- Clams: Healthy morning drink, which is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Reality: it contains 38 grams of sugar.
- Company Response: Defended its product, saying it provides “a good breakfast choice with energy, protein and other nutrients for the often rushed and on-the-go consumer.”
McCain Pizza Pockets
- Clams: A healthy food option, pointing to the fact they are baked instead of fried and made with “wholesome ingredients that contain no artificial colors or flavors.
- Reality: contains 11 grams of fat, which is more than a Boston cream doughnut, and 470 milligrams of sodium, more than a large serving of French fries at a fast food restaurant.
- Company Response: “consumers told us they wanted food made with real recognizable and pronounceable ingredients.”
Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars
- Clams: Health benefits of its cereal bars by making reference to a “golden baked crust of wheat and whole grains mixed with a variety of fillings made with real fruit.”
- Reality: Each bar contains more than 12 grams of sugar, which certainly adds up if eaten daily. And the first ingredient, listed by weight, is regular white flour.
- Company Response: the company stated that “nutrition has been the driving force behind Kellogg’s since its founding in 1906.”
The bottom line:
Just because a product claims to be healthy doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Make sure to read the label carefully and look for products made with whole, unprocessed ingredients that do not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients.
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Marketplace video that opened my eyes