Health food marketing fake-outs: 8 red flags so you don’t get duped
[Nola, 1/17/19] Healthy chips? Good-for-you cakes? Nutritious crackers? Scan the grocery shelf and you’ll see many products making those claims, but buyer beware.
Some manufacturers prey on our intentions to make smarter food choices by employing misleading phrases on labels that put a halo on not-so-healthful products.
As a result, it can be tricky to identify what’s really nutritious and what’s just marketed as if it is.
As a registered dietitian, I work to ensure clients have the tools to navigate past the marketing to find the truth. To that end, here’s the inside scoop on 8 red flags of product labeling.
If you see these phrases on a label, that’s your cue to do your due diligence to flip that package over and carefully read not only the nutrition information, but also the ingredient list to see if the product lives up to the marketing hype.
Made with. This is possibly the most common marketing fake-out. The qualifier of “made with” (think ‘made with’ whole grain or ‘made with’ kale) is an immediate red flag. Take a closer look to see just where the brag-worthy ingredient falls in the label’s ingredient lineup. Is the “whole grain” listed after white flour like it is in the ‘baked with whole wheat’ Ritz crackers? Is kale behind corn and oil like it is in The Better Chip’s Kale Chips? (Even more misleading: A photo on the bag shows a magnifying glass over the chip so that we can see that there is a bit of green in there).
A better bet is to look for products labeled as “100 percent xyz healthful ingredient” – like Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. That is how we know what we’re really getting………
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