Food Labels Are Misleading


Food labels can be misleading for those who want exact information on what they are eating. Lately more and more people are making the switch to eating diets full of “real” food. This means staying away from food that is packaged, has an expiration date, has preservatives, or has any label whatsoever. The appeal to be healthy is becoming more important than eating that bag of chips.

Food labels have been given the worst of names when it comes to some diets. Those diets that encourage followers to eat mainly fruits, vegetables, and lean meats strictly forbid all food that comes with a label. If it has a label, it is essentially not allowed.

One of the reasons items with labels are dismissed is that labels are not always one hundred percent accurate. Many consumers are being tricked into thinking a certain product is good for them because of the information on the label. In reality, however, that may not always be the case. When a cereal says it is made with whole grains, that is not necessarily a good thing. The box may say “whole grains,” but the first, most prominent ingredient on the label will be unbleached wheat flour. Wheat flour is actually much farther down the list. Food advertisers will attempt to list the best ingredient–the one everyone is looking for–in big bold letters. The real ingredient list, however, is much different. Labeled food can be misleading and is becoming a thing of the past because of annoyances like these.

Food labels are also deceitful in the sense that they are not always accurate in their serving sizes. In some instances, while food labels will list the calorie count in one serving of a beverage, the serving size and how many servings are within the bottle, the bottle does not always contain the amount of servings said to exist. There is often either more or less than the said amount of servings, making it hard to judge how many calories are being consumed.

Labels are also abusing the use of Omega-3. Many people look for labels that list Omega-3 as a top ingredient, as it has been said to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. The FDA, however, has allowed food companies to list Omega-3 as an ingredient even when only two of those fatty acids are present. Another common lie is the promise of a product being made with real fruit. Often boxes will advertise the snack as being made with real fruit, but under ingredients the first one listed is fruit juice concentrate, which is essentially just another form of sugar.

Food with a label is nothing but trouble, as the label is often not telling the whole truth and may not be beneficial for humans. All the promises made by labels, such as having real fruit, high vitamin c, or omega-3, can be found in actual food instead–foods which are much healthier for the body. Everyone is much better off eating real and fresh food as opposed to packaged. Reading labels is tedious and unnecessary when an apple has no label at all and is better than that box of cookies anyway. Those who wander aimlessly through aisles trying to find a label with the right ingredients might be just as well served with a trip to the produce section instead. Everything there speaks for itself, with nothing but wholesome goodness and no false advertising. Foods with misleading labels can be a thing of the past in order to have a healthier future.

Opinion By Amena S. Chaudhri

Psychology Today
Good Housekeeping
Eating Well

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