Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't believe food labels

I had come across this list more than once but could never remember them. Now I am recording them here to look up wherever I need it.

Food marketing consultant at, Rob Ward, shows you how to read between the lines.

The Claim: "Made With Whole Grains"
The Truth: The stuff could still be refined and darkened with caramel colouring. Go for '100 per cent Wholegrain'.

The Claim: "Sugar-free!"
The Truth: It may contain sugar alcohols (e.g. xylitol or sorbitol) which can cause diarrhoea.

The Claim: "Made with real fruit"
The Truth: Check the quantity of actual fruit used as a percentage: It's often too little to matter.

The Claim: "Low cholesterol"
The Truth: To be of any benefit, the stuff must be 'high HDL' (a good cholesterol), 'low LDL' (a bad cholesterol) and 'low triglyceride' (a type of fat in your blood).

The Claim: "No added sugar"
The Truth: "No added sugar" just means no sucrose. As with dried fruit, it could still be very sweet.

The Claim: "Light!"
The Truth: 'Light' may mean 30 per cent less fat/sugar. But it still doesn't make the stuff healthy.

The Claim: "Fortified with omega-3"
The Truth: ALA, the least beneficial and cheapest of the three types of fatty acid, is often the only kind used for food manufacturers.

The Claim: "Fat-free!"
The Truth: This is the code for 'high sugar' and 'addictive-laced'. Besides, not all fats are bad.

The Claim: "No trans fats!"
The Truth: Even with this claim, it may still contain 0.1g of artery-clogging trans fat per 100g. Avoid anything labelled "hydrogenated".

My shorthand for all these hard to remember points? I almost never over eat. It is hard to avoid the bad stuff. So take in as little as possible. Historically we do not have enough to eat and our ancestors suffered from malnutrition. Now we are hit with bad nutrition.

1 comment:

  1. People can download E Scanner or UPC food label , both available in apps to check artificial addictives in their food when buying at supermarket. Don't wait and count on your MOE to tell you what nutrition is good or food to ban. Your NTUC and the likes will certainly not mind selling you stuff as long as profits are made. Only you are responsible for your health.