Notice: It’s Important That You Read Food Labels

Nowadays, there is something going on which is that many grocery stores are becoming much more like labyrinths rather than simple shopping center. In case you might be wondering what that means. Well, that does not have anything to do with how they are designed. However, there is no difference at all, regarding how they are set up. The labeling on many items contribute to shopper being confused. In fact, that is why someone really needs to know how to go shopping before learning how to diet.

In the past couple of years something strange has happened, there has been a rapid increasing of several labels jockeying for place in shopping carts. Among them are:

  • Low-fat or fat-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Organic
  • Natural

Inevitably, shoppers often find themselves wondering about these kinds of things with regard to how to diet. It is unfortunate that, the manufactures that produce food are well aware of that, and have a created various ways of labeling foods as healthy, while in fact they are not. This type of reprehensible behavior can easily lead to confusion.

Back in 1994, all food manufacturers were required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make consistent the information regarding nutrition of all products. When there was an increasing demands by consumers for healthy substitutes to their favorite foods, manufacturers were left with no choice but to start producing low-fat as well as sugar-free fare. FDA reassessed its guidelines concerning food labeling in 2009, by strictly imposing the fat along with sugar content obligations for foods labeled low fat or sugar-free. 

Although, it is true that the regulations that were enacted by the FDA are critical in making sure that those food manufacturers are not deceiving you, this is something that should serve you as a reminder if you are interested in dieting the most viable way as possible. 

1) Low fat equates to “processed”, fat free equates to “high in sugar”.  It’s quite interesting that fat has been given a bad reputation. For a number of years dieters have been struggling to limit the fat content of their day-to-day diets, without realizing that fat plays a critical role in a healthy diet along with lifestyle. Fat carries the meaning of taste and texture in food. There is a major difference regarding natural foods and processed foods when it comes down to how they taste and look. To remove fat out of foods in order to make them fat-free and appetizing, then sugar which is intended for taste had to be added by manufacturers as well as gums and other type of substances intended to replace fat for texture and consistency. Admittedly, it’s true that the fat content is drastically reduced, but the simple carbohydrate content is messed up. 

 2) Foods that are considered as “Sugar-free” are not sugar free in a complete sense: One of the major components of the FDA regulations stated that food can be labeled as “sugar-free” as long as there is no sugar or any ingredient that contains sugar that is added during the process” which is quite problematic at some extent. However, sugar alcohols were excluded in the regulation. These are mere artificial sweeteners. While, It’s true that they are not sugars, but the thing is they are worse for you.

3) Organic food: Food labeling is very helpful as well as explicit in this particular area. The agency, which is responsible to regulate organic food, is known as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which establishes guidelines that strictly determines what should be considered as organic food. That is why it’s critical that you make sure a food is stamped with USDA  certified organic badge before you purchase any type of organic food that you are interested in. 

4) Natural at some extent. The bottom line is that FDA has no definition concerning what “natural” actually means regarding food. They seem to have no problem with the term in the case the food is artificial color, flavor and does not contain synthetic substances. The real problem is that how the food is harvested or processed is not dealt with. Having said all of that, when you are tempted to buy something labeled as “natural”, the real issue is that label has been decided by the food manufacturer, not by some type of independent agency.

As many people are interested in both losing weight and being healthy, lots of money are being made out of health foods. This explains the reason food producers are so interested in labeling their products as “healthy” even if they know they are not. The best way to make sure that you stay away from “health” food that may be problematic to your healthy eating plan is to stick to real, natural, and unprocessed options that are readily available at your local grocery store. As a final point, foods that are being presented as low in a particular area may be very high in something else even worse. Therefore, it’s very critical that you stay well informed.