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On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the truth about 7 misleading food label claims.
Low fat, reduced fat, or light fat?
What do all of these food label claims really mean?
Let’s learn how to decode these confusing and often misleading food labels.
It’s no surprise that the majority of processed and packaged foods contain many cheap and nasty ingredients.
This is why food marketers are now printing all kinds of big bright labels on food packages.
In fact, there was research done that showed consumers would spend 33% more money on foods that contained these healthy food label claims on the package.
Unfortunately many times these food label claims are not regulated and have very sketchy guidelines.
With that said, let’s dig a little bit deeper and discuss which food labels are regulated, and what they actually mean.
Here are the 7 confusing food labels decoded and defined.
If you see a “Trans Fat Free” food label claim, you still need to be aware.
Trans fats are one of the worst things you can feed your body, as they’re very damaging to your heart.
Just because a food label claims to be “Trans Fat Free”, it does not guarantee the food contains no trans fats.
Food marketers can use the “Trans Fat Free” food label claim as long as the food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
Look at it this way.
If you are overindulging by having 4 times the serving size of a “Trans Fat Free” pie, you could be attacking your heart with 2 grams of trans fat.
We see this “Gluten Free” food label claim everywhere lately.
However, you still need to be aware.
The “Gluten Free” food label claim simply means the food is free from any ingredient containing gluten.
However, I’m going to say be aware.
Unfortunately, many people often jump to the conclusion that “Gluten Free” means the food is healthy.
Just because a food doesn’t contain gluten, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee it’s going to be healthy.
Many times gluten free products replace the gluten with ingredients like potato starch, which can actually spike insulin production just as high.
Many times the “Sugar Free” food label claim means the sugar is just replaced with artificial sweeteners.
Although these artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories, most of them are basically sweetened chemicals, and can be potentially more harmful to your body.
It’s best if the sugar free product uses a natural sweetener like stevia, which comes from a plant.
The “High Fiber” food label claim means the food must contain more than 5 grams of fiber per serving.
However, it’s important to read the ingredients list to understand where the fiber is actually coming from.
For instance, some food marketers have been adding unnatural forms of functional fiber to products to up the fiber content.
Remember, the best kinds of fiber come from fruits and vegetables.
Always read the ingredients list and don’t fall for the hype.
Fortunately, the term “Organic” is regulated.
The USDA regulates the usage of the food label claim “Organic” on all foods.
However, does this mean the food is 100% organic?
Food marketers can use the organic food label claim as long as it is 95% organic, and not grown with pesticides or genetically modified.
Based on this, should you buy all organic food?
In a perfect world, I would say yes.
However, due to the reality of limited budgets, it may not be possible for all people.
Here’s a video post called, organic vs non-organic fruits and vegetables, where I covered the foods you should always buy organic, and the ones you can get away with just going conventional.
It’s important to be aware of the differences in the following food label claims regarding sodium:
Any product that contains the “Low Sodium” food label claim has to contain less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.
However, don’t confuse “Low Sodium” with “Reduced Sodium”.
The “Reduced Sodium” food label claim is defined as having 25% less sodium than the original product.
Lastly, the “Light in Sodium” food label claim is defined as having 50% less sodium than the original product.
It’s also important to be aware of the differences in the follow food label claims regarding fat:
Typically these food label claims means the naturally occurring fat in the food has been removed and replaced with sugar.
This is not a good trade off.
The “Low Fat” food label claim means it has less than 3 grams per serving.
Similar to the sodium food label claim, “Reduced Fat” means it contains 25% less fat than the original product.
Finally, the “Light Fat” food label claim means it contains 50% less fat than the original product.
There you go Live Lean Nation.
Even though I just shared the truth about 7 misleading food label claims, there are many others to be aware of.
Other Misleading Food Label Claims Include:
Here’s the bottom line.
Like all things, it’s buyer beware.
As a consumer, you must educate yourself on what these food label claims actually represent, so you don’t get taken advantage of.
I hope this video post helped clear up some of the mystery surrounding these misleading food label claims.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.
34 responses to “The Truth About 7 Misleading Food Label Claims”
Hey Brad your thoughts on Intermittent Fasting bro? Do you endorse it?
These videos are such good quality and informative
Great stuff. Best things you can do to help with this confusion is to buy
products with very little ingredients, do some research and make your own
when possible. It is tricky business, but you can pretty much not trust
most labels. Generally, the bolder the claims the worse the product is.
Thanks for the vid.
Hey Brad. You encouraged us to put some coconut oil in the morning coffee.
However I am confused as to trans and saturated fats. I just read that
coconut oil contains saturated fats. Isn’t trans and saturated fats bad for
Brad can you do a video explaining some of the fitness terms? Like what
macros are, what exactly are carbs and calories and which one is worse or
better? I feel like I don’t fully know these things exactly
Reading the labels usually comes to one conclusion: They write the food
label so it looks good & healthy to the customer…so the schemers can get
Deceive them with bogus buzz words and sell them junk food for maximum
( I’ve seen the ‘gluten free’ stuff and the food contained sugar &
Then on the grocery lane…Diet pills!
Really good information Brad
So much trickery!! We’re on the case us Liveleaners lol!! xx
Decoding 7 Confusing Food Labels