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How to Spot a Misleading Food Labels

If you're one of those people at the grocery store who only reads the front label on food packages, listen up. You might not have a good understanding of what you're getting.
Grocery shopping can be about getting in, getting what you need, and getting out.

But are shoppers buying what they think they're buying?

If they're only reading the front of the package, many times they're not.

"Manufacturers are really good at picking up on those buzz words that consumers are concerned with.  And they use those to catch our attention."

A few common misconceptions?

First, bread labeling can be tricky, says registered dietitian nutritionist Ann Dunaway Teh.

"Although it might say wheat or multigrain, it doesn't mean it's a whole grain bread."

You want to look for it to say 100%.

Also the term "light" can be confusing.

It can be spelled two different ways, but mean the same thing.

"light" can mean less calories, fat or sodium than a food's original counterpart, but...

"Just because a label says light or reduced does not mean that that's license to eat more of that food."

And trans fats.. many manufacturers have removed these 'bad' fats from foods, but not all of them have done so.  Just because a food says zero

"By law, it can contain up to a half gram trans fat and still claim zero on the label per serving."

You want to look in the ingredients for the words "partially hydrogenated oil" - the major source of trans fat - and steer clear of those items.

Being a proactive and informed shopper can go a long way.


(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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