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Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Unhealthy Nutrition Lies Revealed

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m taking you into the grocery store with me to uncover the top 19 misleading food labels that are deceiving you.

It’s time to put an end to the nutrition lies that many food companies are claiming on their packaging.

I really hope you are not falling for this marketing hype, but if you are, you’re about to be schooled.

Let’s go into the grocery store so I can save you from making falling for some of these common nutrition label mistakes.

But before we get started, always remember to follow this Live Lean pro tip.

The outside perimeter of the grocery store is your safe zone.

97.45% of the time, you can avoid all 19 of these deceiving food labels, and basically forget every one of the rules I’m about to share with you, by simply sticking to the outside edges of the grocery store.

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

You enter the danger zone when you start walking down the middle snack aisles at the grocery store.

The breakfast cereal aisle is a classic example of this.

How many of these 19 foods do you think are healthy?

#1. 20% Vitamin D

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Next time you walk down the breakfast cereal aisle, take a quick look at the nutrition claims on the cereal boxes.

Here’s a classic example of a misleading food example.

A big food label on a box of Frosted Flakes promotes it contains 20% of the daily value of Vitamin D.

Frosted Flakes, a food that is filled with sugar, coloring, and the chemical BHT, is being promoted as a good source of Vitamin D.

Are you kidding me?

Let’s take a look at the real food label and the nutrition facts, to see what you really get.

Frosted Flakes Nutrition Facts:

* Based on a very small serving size of 3/4 cup (31g)

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
    • Sugar: 12g
  • Fat: 0g

Frosted Flakes Ingredients:

  1. Flaked milled corn
  2. Sugar
  3. Malt (Corn Flour And Malted Barley)
  4. Salt
  5. Color
  6. BHT
  7. Iron
  8. Niacinamide
  9. Thiamine Hydrochloride
  10. Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)
  11. d-Calcium Pantothenate
  12. Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  13. Folic Acid


It’s always better to eat foods that naturally are high in vitamin D, as it is absorbed by the body better, compared to processed foods that have synthetic Vitamin D added to it.

#2. High In “Protein” Even Though It Primarily Comes From The Milk

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Vector is a brand of cereal that is actually marketed as being an athletes type of cereal, because it contains 13 grams of protein.

Based on this, it’s being promoted as a higher protein cereal.

However, look at the image of the ingredients list below to see all of the different forms of sugar found in Vector cereal.

Plus, the primary source of protein is the fourth ingredient on the list, and it comes from soy protein.

Soy protein is one of the lowest quality sources of protein.

In addition to all of this, one serving of Vector cereal only contains 5.5 grams of protein.

This means over 55% of the 13 grams of protein marketed on the food label, actually comes from the dairy milk, not the actual cereal.

#3. High In “Protein” Even Though It’s A Low Quality Soy Protein

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Special K cereal is another example of a misleading food label claiming to be a high protein cereal.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Special K cereal.

The first ingredient in Special K is whole grain oats, followed by textured soy protein concentrate, sugar, then more carbohydrates, and the chemical BHT.

This is another example of a misleading food label highlighting protein, when the calories from carbohydrates are 3 times higher than from protein.

Plus, the protein comes from cheap, lower quality soy protein.

#4. “High Source Of Fiber”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Mini Wheats should be a good source of fiber, right?

Well, if you look at the nutrition facts label, it will also show you that it is a good source of sugar.

Mini Wheats Ingredients List:

  1. Whole grain wheat
  2. Icing sugar
  3. Glycerin
  4. Gelatin
  5. BHT
  6. Iron
  7. Niacinamide
  8. Thiamine Hydrochloride
  9. d-Calcium Pantothenate
  10. Zinc Oxide
  11. Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  12. Folic Acid

This is simply a cereal high in sugar and chemicals, that also contains fiber.

Eat your vegetables and these foods high in fiber.

#5. High In Fiber And Protein

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Look at all of the ingredients.


This “fiber protein bar” is just filled with chemicals, sugar, and a low grade source of protein.

#6. “Made With Real Fruit Filling”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

This fruit bar claims that it is “Made With Real Fruit Filling”.

Okay, show me the fruit in this ingredients list.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding any fruit.

All I see is ingredients that contain sugar and chemicals.

#7. “Natural Flavors”

All right, let’s move on to the soda and chips aisle.

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

This Diet 7-Up soda claims it is made with “Natural Flavors”.

Show me the natural flavors in this ingredients list.

When I look at the ingredients list, it seems to contain a lot of artificial sweeteners and chemicals, including sodium benzoate.

#8. Vitamin “Water”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Next up, Vitamin Water.

Vitamins and water sounds like a good combination, right?

Well, when you flip it over to look at the nutrition facts, you’ll see that this “water” contains 32 grams worth of sugar, in one serving.

When you look at the ingredients list, you’ll also see that sugar is the second ingredient.

#9. “0 Trans Fat”

Okay, here’s a good one.

This brand of potato chips claims to contain 0 trans fat per serving.

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the potato chips contain 0 grams of trans fat.

According to FDA rules, food companies can round down.

This means if the food contains 0.4g of trans fat per serving, it can be marketed as 0g.

However, if you eat 5 servings worth of chips, which happens all the time, that would equal 2g of trans fats.

It’s obvious that this consumption of trans fat can quickly add up.

If you’re not aware of what trans fats are, they are horrible for your overall health.

#10. “Made With Whole Grains”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

All let’s talk about crackers promoted as being “made with whole grains“.

Bonus, right?

Let’s turn it over and look at the ingredients list.

The second ingredient is vegetable oil.

Not good.

#11. Candy “Made With Real Fruit Juice”

All right, food labels that state “made with real fruit juice”, are one of my favorites.

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Especially when the food is literally candy.

In this case, it’s gummy bears.

The first, second, third, and fourth ingredient are all different forms of sugar.

Where is the fruit?

Oh I know, the fruit is in the fruit aisle.

#12. Cherry “Juice Blend”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Even though this “Cranberry” juice looks like it’s only made with cranberries, it’s not.

If it’s a blend, it’s usually mixed with other lower quality, cheaper fruit juice fillers.

#13. Processed Foods From A Box Made With “Whole Wheat”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Oh yes, more whole wheat.

In this example, I’m showing Kraft Dinner, a processed form of macaroni and cheese in a box, that is made with whole wheat.

Since it’s made with whole wheat, it must be healthy, right?

Here is the ingredients list.

That doesn’t look like a healthy list of ingredients to me.

Do I really need to say anymore more?

#14. “No Sugar Added”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

All right, let’s take a look at these “no sugar added” snack pack puddings.

Before you add it to your grocery cart, turn the package around and to see what is in the ingredients list.

As you can see, the ingredients list is filled with words that sound like they are from a science experiment.

In other words, this sugar free pudding contains a lot of artificial sweeteners and chemicals.

#15. “Made With Whole Chicken Fillets”

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

These frozen chicken strips market that they are “made with whole chicken fillets”.

Unfortunately, this chicken is also made with vegetable oil and soy.

Thanks, but I’ll just cook my own chicken breast.

#16. If “Healthy” Is Part Of The Brand Name, It Doesn’t Guarantee It’s Healthy

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

These frozen dinners use the word “Healthy” in the name.

Well, just because the brand name includes the word “healthy” in it, it does not necessarily make it healthy.

Also, just because something is lower calorie, it doesn’t necessarily make it healthy.

Take a look at all the additive ingredient bonuses that come with this frozen meal.

Always read the ingredients.

If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or it doesn’t come from plants or animal, 99.35% of the time you should put it back.

#17. “Organic” Food Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy Food

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Even though it says “organic” on the food label, it doesn’t always mean it’s healthy.

You always have to read the ingredients.

Look at all the sugar in this organic yogurt.

Seriously, if the second ingredient is sugar, just say no.

#18. “High Protein” “Nutritious Energy Drink”

This particular high protein “nutritious” energy drink contains a food label that advertises 28 vitamins and minerals.

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Let’s take a look at the ingredients to see what’s inside.

This “nutritious” drink is filled with chemicals and sugar.

Plus, I can’t even pronounce half of these ingredients.

When a food or drink contains this many ingredients that Bill Nye “The Science Guy” couldn’t even pronounce, it’s never a good thing.

I know I’ve been repeating myself, but I guess I have too to drive home my point.

Also, where is the protein?

#19. “Gluten-Free” Foods Loaded With Sugar And Chemicals

Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

All right, we’re now in the gluten-free aisle.

Let’s take a look at this gluten-free chocolate cake mix.

It still contains a whopping amount of sugar and potato starch.

In gluten-free products, potato starch is often used to replace flour.

However, potato starch is known to really raise your blood sugar levels.

Remember, just because it’s gluten-free, it doesn’t make it healthy.

So there you go.

Thanks for coming to the grocery store with me.

I hope you learned a few things.

Bottom Line: Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

Don’t fall for the marketing hype.

Always read the ingredients list and the nutrition facts label first.

Better yet, fill your cart with foods that don’t even have an ingredients label.

If you see more than 5 ingredients, especially ingredients you can’t pronounce, in most cases it’s not a good thing.

Just use your brain and stick to the outside aisles for the majority of your food at the grocery store.

As long as you mostly add real foods to your grocery cart, you’re going to be safe in the grocery store.

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Question Of The Day:

  • Did any.of these foods surprise you?
  • If so, which one has deceived you most?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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28 responses to “Top 19 Misleading Food Labels That Are Deceiving You

  1. Aspartame is toxic and its in all sugar free foods like diet soda and so
    on.. you really need to point out the reason why its bad to consume all
    this chemicals. So ppl are just a
    Stubborn or.just don’t want to believe.

  2. I know sugar isn’t good for you and you should avoid all added sugars that
    don’t come from natural foods, but its nearly impossible it seems. If you
    can avoid it, what is the max amount of sugar that one food should contain?

  3. omg this was sooo helpfull box i pick

    thx from Egypt
    next time I go grocery shopping will never skip checking the back of the

  4. I like how this chode calls the foods science experiments like eating it
    once is going to kill you. Yeah, it’s not really going to be beneficial,
    but it’s no reason to use scare tactics to get people to never eat it. I’d
    have liked the video a lot more if it were more reasonable and realistic
    rather than dramatic and dishonest- which ironically is just doing the same
    thing the companies making the food have done.

    It’s fine to eat crap sometimes if you want. The important thing is not to
    eat it as much as you eat good stuff.

    At the same time, food labels are very deceptive and even when not tricking
    you it’s still complicated. But teach people without being so biased and
    dramatic. It really makes it hard to take you seriously when you call shit
    like vitamin water and cereal a science experiment. Drugs are science
    experiments- not fruit loops.

  5. Hi Brad, what are your thoughts or recommendations about optimum nutrition
    gold standard wheyt protein??

  6. Please do more videos like these. Also can you please do a video talking
    about the ingredients we should stay away from the most. Thank you! Btw I
    really enjoy your fiances and your videos. Very insightful!

  7. You are so right about gluten free products having a lot of sugar in them.
    I only eat gluten free bread just once or twice a week because of the
    amount of sugar and carbs in it. It also varies according what brand you
    use too. I pretty much just eat real whole foods and make a few items on my
    own with almond and coconut flour for a few of my baked goods that I want.


  9. Every time I’m in the store and I happen to overhear people discussing low
    calories and how “healthy” a product is I want to scream, “read the
    ingredients!!!” It’s so frustrating how misinformed people are because
    we’ve been told the wrong thing for all our lives.

  10. Hey brad I know you are more knowledgeable than me, but when youre trying
    to stay lean and burn some fat I believe its all about the calories in vs.
    Calories out/macros. I mean 600 calories of cereal and 600 calories whole
    fruit doesn’t make a difference in my opinion. (In living lean) idk this is
    what I think and I see many proof of it working from many other youtubers.
    What do you think about this Brad?? And BTW keep up the good work!

  11. If it is not fresh,raw and real food I don’t eat it.NO boxes,no labels with
    more then 2 ingredients are in my cart. AWESOME VIDEO.

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