Tricky Expressions Used on Food Labels

When buying a product, always remember that the front side of it has just been made to sell it. Not all the details that are found on the label are necessarily expressing what they should because the marketing of the brand assumes using words that may be a little bit tricky and psychologically create a wrong impression. Almost all of us have most probably bought the “lie” so let’s disclose some of them to be more careful when doing shopping.

  1. Healthy– One of the first trick-words. Let’s take the example of well-know chocolate-brand Nutella. It is being promoted as healthy as you can combine it with a piece of whole-grain bread for breakfast but nobody talks about the amount of sugar it contains. There is 31G of sugar in every two spoons of Nutella which makes it way far from being healthy, doesn’t it?
  2. Multi-Grain– We all know that whole-grains are grains that have all three parts intact. They’re typically high in iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, B vitamins and dietary fiber which make them really healthy. Anyways, many manufacturers use terms like “9 grain” or “7 grain” to create a good impression which, actually, is wrong because multi-grains aren’t as healthy as the whole-grains. So, make sure that you have the word “whole” in the line of ingredients like “whole grains” or “whole wheat flour”. And avoid the word “enriched”.
  3. Naturally sweetened- First of all, let’s see what you thought of when you read these words. Most probably Stevia crossed your mind. That could be true but, in many cases as it covers a part of the sweetening process but the rest is done by the usage of white sugar that’s why not skipping the ingredient line is essential.
  4. Trans-fat free- Let’s see what is happening here. So, FDA (Food and Drink Administration) allows the manufacturers to round the amount of fat down to zero if the product contains less than 0.5g fat per serving. So, as this is pretty tricking and confusing, let’s just be careful and avoid anything that contains the following expressions: “hydrogenated oils”, “partially-hydrogenated oils” or “shortening”.
  5. High in fiber- Many products that have “high in fiber” written on them, actually contain fake fiber which is logically not as healthy as natural fiber. In this case, what we watch out for are chicory root, maltodextrin, and polydextrose on the ingredients list.
  6. Gluten free- Very often, products labeled “Gluten free” are those that contain a high amount of sugar or let’s say have artificial colors or flavors. So, what is important here is not that the product is not actually gluten free but the fact that it doesn’t make the product completely healthy along with other features it has.
  7. Organic- When you buy something that is labeled as “organic”, remember that multi-ingredient products may contain specific ingredients that are not organic. Besides, if you pay attention, you will see that the term “organic” is also frequently met on junk food just as “gluten free” ones.

The word “organic” shall not trick you because, surprisingly, there is a set amount of synthetic substances allowed for such production.

Manufacturers need to follow a list of requirements to label their product as “organic” but that doesn’t guarantee that the animals, for instance, are being kept under the right conditions which include eating outdoors during grazing season, free-ranging etc. Besides all that has been mentioned above, they can also contain some percentage of non-organic ingredients.

  • No sugar/ reduced sugar– In this case, you are most probably dealing with artificial sweeteners which will not be beneficiary for your health. To know what you are about to consume, just turn the product and look at the ingredient line. You are most likely to see sucralose, aspartame etc.

Stay healthy!

Every time we go out shopping, we feel confused because of the amount of selection options. Each product has its competitive and all of them create impressive labels using lots of tricks to attract the customer’s eye. We find it important to spread awareness about what is actually happening in food industry and hope that the information given in this article will be beneficial for you and help you get less harm from the products that you consume. Besides, please pay attention to the serving size. If you are counting calories or the amount of sugar consumed during the day, it is essential to see how many calories the food contains per a specific size of portion.