healthy labels to avoid

Health sells, especially when it comes to food; according to a new survey by The International Food Information Council, the healthiness of foods and drinks influences 61 percent of buying decisions. More and more supposedly healthy buzzwords are appearing on food packages, but they should be approached with caution as certain claims can be misleading. Just because a product lacks fat, gluten or sugar doesn’t mean it’s healthier, and some labels are just plain confusing. Here are some labels frequently found on packages and what they really mean.

1. Fat-Free

Fat-free sounds too good to be true, and that’s because it probably is since not even most vegetables are completely fat-free. While you may think you’re making a healthy choice, eating certain fat-free foods may actually cause you to gain, not lose weight. In a new study from Purdue University, rats fed potato chips containing Olean (a no-calorie, fat-free fat substitute) subsequently put on more weight than rats fed regular potato chips. More research is needed, but experts suggest that fat substitutes may interfere with your body’s natural ability to regulate how much food is enough, causing you to eat more. In addition, just because a product is fat-free and proudly advertises this fact, doesn’t mean that it’s not hiding other dieting disasters in its nutrition content; yes, Jelly Bellies may be a fat-free food, but they also contain 24 grams of sugar per serving, meaning that they are full of empty calories.

2. Gluten-Free

Gluten-free products being better for you is one of the biggest diet myths out there; unless you have celiac disease or proven gluten sensitivity, you should think twice before ditching gluten – being gluten free doesn’t automatically make a product better for you. Gluten-free products can vary a great deal in the amount of fat, protein and other nutrients they contain. Some brands of gluten-free bread have up to 13 times more fat and 16 times more protein than others, according to a recent study which compared 11 different gluten-free breads.

3. Organic

There is a great deal of debate about the superior taste and nutrition of organic food yet despite this, people infer that organic food is automatically healthier. In one study, people asked to rate ‘organic’ versus ‘conventional’ yogurt, cookies and potato chips overwhelmingly said that they preferred the taste of the organic ones, and thought they were healthier and worth a higher price tag. The catch? All products in the study were actually identical, just labeled differently. In reality, comparisons of organic products with their conventional counterparts haven’t found organic food to have a nutritional edge, and when it comes down to it, processed food that's organic is still processed food. If a food comes out of a box and is labeled organic, it means it's healthier only in that it was minimally produced without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation. While you can feel good that workers, animals, and the environment were all treated better in the process, remember that it might not be nutritionally better for you!

healthy labels to avoid

4. Diet Soda

For most people, the word ‘diet’ equals weight loss. However, diet soda may not be delivering on its promise here. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center recently found that people who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink diet soda at all. These bigger waist sizes, which is the most dangerous place to carry extra fat, may be due to the ‘I saved here, I can splurge there’ theory of dieting, or perhaps the artificial sweeteners in diet soda increased the diet soda drinkers’ appetites, as other research suggests. A much better idea is to drink plenty of water to keep yourself of hydrated and ensure that your body is working at its optimum level. However, if you find all that water a little boring then why not try our product, Phen Drink, to give a sweet fruity flavor to your water while also boosting your metabolism and helping to suppress your appetite without any carbs, sugar or calories.

5. Trans-Fat Free

Since 2006, the FDA has required food manufacturers to list reportable amounts of trans fat on the Nutrition Facts label. But here’s the thing - food manufacturers don't have to report the trans-fat content if it's less than 0.5 grams per serving. So check the ingredients list for the terms ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’ as these indicate a presence of trans fats even if the nutrition facts label reports that it contains 0 grams.

While you’re on your weight loss journey it’s important to consider exactly what’s in the food you buy; simply opting for ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ versions doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making the right choices as this product could be trying to draw attention away from a high sugar content or actually contain unnatural ingredients which may hinder your best weight loss efforts. We believe the safest way to ensure you’re eating healthily is to opt for fresh unprocessed products like fruit and vegetables, lean meat, oily fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds – plus, these foods are high in fiber and protein, keeping you full for longer and helping to control your appetite.

If you need extra help with appetite suppression or an energy boost, rather than filling up on supposedly fat-free products or reaching for a diet soda, a weight loss supplement such as Phen Caps is your best choice, ensuring that making genuinely healthy changes to your diet are easier and maintainable in the long term. However, despite aiming to eat a varied diet, many of us are still missing out on nutrients that are essential for good health and to help weight loss, but by adding the only multivitamins designed specifically for weight loss, Phen Vites, to your new healthy routine, you can rest assured that you’re benefitting from all the crucial nutrients you need to lose weight successfully.

Do you always go for low-fat foods? Do you trust food labels or are you an ingredient checker? We’d love to hear about your thoughts on food labels so please comment below!