Low fat, reduced fat, or light. What does it all mean? Live Lean Nation, on today’s episode of Live Lean TV I’m showing you how to decode those confusing and often misleading food labels.
Alright, it’s no surprise the majority of processed and packaged foods contains 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 health labels on the package.
However, unfortunately many times these claims are not regulated and have very sketchy guidelines.
So with that said, let’s dig a little deeper and discuss which labels are regulated and what they actually mean.
Trans fats are one of the worst things you can feed your body as they’re very damaging to your heart.
However, if you see the Trans Fat Free label, it doesn’t guarantee the food contains no trans fats.
Food marketers can use this label as long as the food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
So if you’re overindulging on a “trans fat free” pie, by having 4 times the serving size, you could be attacking your heart with 2 grams of trans fat.
We see this one everywhere lately. It simply means the food is free from any ingredient containing gluten. However, I’m going to say beaware because so many people often jump to the conclusion that this means the food is healthy. Wrong.
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 spike insulin production.
Many times this 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.
This label means the food must contain more than 5g of fiber per serving. However it’s important that you read the ingredients list to understand where the fiber is coming from.
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.
The USDA regulates the usage of the term Organic on all foods. However, does this mean the food is 100% organic? Not always.
Food marketers can use the organic label as long as it is 95% organic and not grown with pesticides or genetically modified.
So should you buy all organic food?
In a perfect world, yes, but due to budgets, it may not be possible.
I did a video on the foods you should always buy organic and the ones you can go conventional. Click here to watch that.
Any product that contains this label has to contain less than 140mg per serving.
However don’t confuse this label with “Reduced Sodium” which is 25% less than the original product or “Light in Sodium” which is less than 50% of the original product.
Typically means naturally occurring fat in the food has been removed and replaced with sugar.
Not a good trade off.
Also low-fat means it has less than 3 grams per serving. And just like the sodium label, Reduced fat means it contains 25% less than the original brand, while Light means 50% less than the original.
So there you go. I just talked about 7 food labels but there are many others like, high in vitamin C and D or high in omega 3s.
Like all things, it’s buyer beware.
As a consumer, you must educate yourself on what these labels actually represent so you don’t get taken advantage of.
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I hope this clears up some of the mystery surrounding these food label claims.
And that’s what hundreds of other Live Leaners just like you are doing over at our Inner Circle Site, TeamLiveLean.com. Our members have access to over 100 delicious and easy cooking lesson recipe videos showing you how to make healthy meals, snacks, and sides with these superfoods. They also get a new cooking lesson recipe video, meal plan, and grocery list every week as well as monthly 4 week workout programs.
Join them and us at TeamLiveLean.com and change your life.
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.