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(BeWellBuzz) The wonders of technology and industry have surely made our lives much better than what our earlier generations had! From food to music and health to entertainment, everything is almost available on a platter!
How easy is it to just grab a pack of pre-cooked, processed and pre-packed food from the shelf of your local supermarket? Yes, it is very convenient but how much nutrition is actually in those types of food. Let’s look deeper and explore top 10 packaged food lies. Be aware and don’t fall for the bait and switch!
The Top 10 Catchwords – Watch Out!
Read on as we reveal what lies beneath those blatant claims packaged foods make and give you an insight into the 10 most glaring lies therein.
1. 0 Trans fat
Heard this too often? Must be, since authorities at the FDA allow foods to be labeled as 0 trans fat per serving if each serving carries below a half gram of fat per serving. Though the number might sound too miniscule to you, yet experts warn you against getting any more than 1% of your calories from trans fats. Watch out for the term ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ in the ingredients which really is a signal that the product is not trans fat free at all.
Think twice if your product says pineapple-favored and you thought it is pineapple you are getting! What you are getting is an artificial favor of the fruit in all probability.
Now that’s a bait that most of us fall to. Foods without added sugar might actually have long lists of artificial sweeteners. In fact, there is concrete scientific evidence to show that artificial sweeteners can actually trick your body into craving more for sweet foods.
Check out the podcast with Shawn Stevenson on this specific topic.
So when does U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allow a manufacturer to say ‘Natural’ on its food label for meat products? That’s when a product is said to have no artificial ingredient or added color and has been subjected to minimum processing. As for vegetables, fruits and processed foods, the FDA is still to have a concrete definition. So, even if your can has GMOs and artificial sweeteners added, the label can still say ‘natural‘.
5. Made with whole grains
Now, whole grains are good for you, no doubt! However, the problem comes in when these whole grains just form a very miniscule portion of the total ingredients. In most of the cases, such products will have whole grains in very small content and white flour, incidentally called enriched wheat flour as its key ingredient. Ideally, it is the whole grains which should be the first item on the list and not the other way around.
6. Packed with antioxidants
An easy word to catch the attention of the health-conscious, this term can lull you into a false belief that your product carries the wonderful qualities of antioxidants, the nutrient-packed enzymes which have excellent anti-aging anti-cancer benefits. However, the problem lies in the fact that there is no formal criterion for this definition. So even if your cereal was packed with an antioxidant carrying fruit juice, it will not offer you even half of the benefits as a whole fruit or vegetable will.
7. No added hormones
This one is specifically relevant to meat and animal products. If your product makes this claim, in all probability it means that the poultry or pork have not been fed with hormones, but antibiotics to increase the feed efficiency of the species. So what is the issue here? Since USDA prohibits the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, with an equally damaging impact are used, tricking you into believing in the safety of the product.
8. Gluten free
Perhaps the latest phenomenon to catch the fancy of the food industry, this term has almost become a cash-churning phrase. If you suffer from gluten intolerance, you need to watch out! While these products might be free of wheat gluten, yet these will mostly carry rye or barley gluten, which are equally problematic.
Surprisingly enough, the FDA doesn’t lay down specific criterion for the type of whole grains version to be used for a product to be labeled as multi-grain. In all likelihood, the said product will just carry various versions of refined, unhealthy grains and not a healthy mix of whole grains, as expected.
10. BPA free
So what is BPA? Well, BPA or Bisphenol A is an organic compound that the health experts are continuously warning you against. When you use plastic food containers containing BPA, a toxic chemical which has been associated with heart disease, cancer and reproductive problems gets leached into your food products. Stating that the product is BPA free will essentially not mean that the plastic container is safe. In fact, a study reported by the Environmental Health Perspectives reveals that all the plastic containers, regardless of their labels surely leach potent, damaging chemicals into your food items.
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