Question 1: If it’s labeled “natural,” it’s healthier. True or False?
Answer: False. This is a classical example of what we, in the health industry, refer to as a ‘labeling loophole.’ The fact that a product felt the need to claim itself natural should make you suspicious in the first place. Check the list of ingredients to be 100% sure of what you’re getting
Question 2: A food could be labeled “lite” or light,” but it might still have fat. True or False?
Answer: True. It has 50% less fat compared to the regular version of that same food but it has fat nevertheless. Pro-tip: Always opt for the regular version. Light versions of food have to add extra salt or sugar to compensate for the loss in texture and taste that took place by removing the fat. Read the nutrition facts and ingredients list carefully before making a decision
Question 3: A food “made with real fruit” means that it’s mostly fruit. True or False?
Answer: False. When a product claims it’s “made with” fruits, or vegetables, it doesn’t mean there has to be a lot of it in there. The actual amounts of those ingredients can be pretty small. Shocking, right? Again, check the ingredient list to make sure fruit is one of the first ingredients you see on the list. Or you could just go buy a fruit and have that instead, you know?
Question 4: If it says “whole grains” on the package, you’re mostly getting whole grains. True or False?
Answer: False. A food can say “made with whole grain” or “rich in whole grain” even if whole grains aren’t one of the main ingredients. It could have lots of refined grains, too, and just a sprinkling of whole grains. I know, this whole process can be SO deceiving! Again, check the ingredients. Closer the ingredient is to the beginning of the list, the better.
Question 5: Organic foods are always the healthier choice. True or False?
Answer: Okay, there is no easy way to answer this. Yes, organic foods are better and healthier compared to their GMO-sprayed counterparts. But here in India, so many of your roadside vendors might actually be organic without they themselves knowing that that is how they should position and market themselves. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who could claim to be organic and since there is no government body regulating this claim, we will never know! So what’s the best way forward? Check your source and shop consistently from the same source/vendor if possible!
Question 6: Here’s a slight deviation from True and False to a Multiple choice. Which claim means a food doesn’t have any trans fats in it?
a)Zero trans fat
b) no trans fat
Answer: No trans fats. It’s confusing, but if a label says “zero” trans fats, it can still have as much as 1/2 gram per serving. So if you eat a few servings, it does add up!
Question 7: Last one! Excellent source’ of fiber means you’ll get all you need for the day. True or False?
Answer: False. For a product to claim that it is an ‘excellent source’ of fiber, it only needs to have 20% of the recommended daily value of that nutrient per serving.
That’s it. Any statements or claims you read recently which have gotten you wondering are true or false? Write in the comment box below or email us firstname.lastname@example.org