red flag words on packaged foods

as we’ve read, words written on packaged food may be misleading. but here are a few common package proclamations that you should look out for, and what they really mean.

  1. Health claims
    Foods are not authorized to treat diseases. Be suspicious of any food label that claims to be the next wonder drug.
  2. Flavored
    Both natural and artificial flavors are actually made in laboratories. But natural flavorings are isolated from a natural source, whereas artificial flavorings are not. However, natural flavors are not necessarily healthier than artificial.
  3. Drink and cocktail
    The FDA requires that the amount of juice be labeled on a package when it claims to contain juice. The words drink and cocktail should have you checking the label for percentages and hidden sugars. But beware: even a product labeled 100 percent juice could be a mixture of cheaper juices, like apple juice and white grape juice.
  4. Pure
    100 percent pure products such as orange juice can be doctored with flavor packs for aroma and taste similar to those used by perfume companies. By now we all know about the use of flavor packs added back to fresh-squeezed orange juice like Tropicana and Minute Maid.
  5. Nectar
    The word nectar it’s just a fancy name for “not completely juice. It is generally accepted for a diluted juice beverage that contains fruit juice or puree, water, and may contain sweeteners.”
  6. Fat free
    PAM cooking spray and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray are fat free if used in the super miniscule. Even then it’s not fat free it’s just below the amount that the FDA requires to be identified on labels.
  7. Sugar free
    This designation means free of sucrose not other sugar alcohols that carry calories from carbohydrates but are not technically sugar. Sugar alcohols are not calorie free. They contain 1.5-3 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram for sugar. Also, certain sugar alcohols can cause digestion issues.
  8. Trademarks
    Dannon yogurt is the only company allowed to use the bacteria in yogurt called bifidus regularis because the company created its own strain of a common yogurt bacterial strain and trademarked the name. Lactobacillus acidophilus thrives in all yogurts with active cultures. All yogurts, and some cheeses, with this bacteria will assisting in digestion and elimination.

read article on Yahoo! Shine by Reader’s Digest Magazine: 8 Biggest Red Flag Words on Packaged Foods


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