Tuesday, September 11, 2007

8 Deceptions of Food Manufacturers' Ingredients Lists - Keys to Good Nutrition & Eating Healthy

Daily Quote: "Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices." - Jean Paul Sartre

Today we'll discuss some based on 8 deceptions of regarding the ingredients lists they put on their products. These to should help expose the lies and help you search for the truth.

You would think that the on food products are designed to inform about what’s in the product. Surprise! The opposite is actually true. Food manufacturers are using the ingredients list to deceive consumers into thinking that their products are healthier than they really are. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the food, with the biggest ingredients listed first.

Here are 8 deceptions or “tricks of the trade” food manufacturers use to deceive consumers.

First, they distribute sugars among many ingredients so that sugars don’t appear in the top three. For instance, they may use a combination of high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup solids, etc. to make sure that none of these appear in the top three ingredients. This fools and misinforms consumers about the total content of sugar in the product.

Another trick is to “pad” the end of the list with miniscule amounts of healthy-sounding berries, herbs, or superfoods such as goji berries, blueberries, spirulina, or green tea. The truth is there just isn’t enough of these ingredients in the food to have any effect on your health, and yet they advertise these ingredients on the front to make consumers think they’re getting healthy food.

Thirdly, they hide dangerous ingredients behind innocent-sounding names that trick consumers into thinking they are safe. For example, “yeast extract” sounds perfectly safe, but it’s actually a trick used to hide (monosodium glutamate), a chemical taste enhancer (excito-toxin) that has many associated health risks. Another example is which is a highly carcinogenic ingredient documented to cause brain tumors and cancer.

Fourth, don’t be fooled by product food names. Be on your guard because food names can include words that describe ingredients not even found in the product. For example, a “cheese” cracker may not contain any cheese, and a “guacamole” dip may have no avacado in it. Absurd!

Fifth, be aware that ingredients lists don’t include contaminants. Manufacturers are not required to list chemical contaminants, heavy metals, pesticides, or other toxic substances found in the food, even though they are there.

Sixth, food producers manipulate the food “serving size” in order to make it appear that their products are devoid of harmful ingredients such as trans fatty acids. The FDA created a loophole for reporting on the label: any food with 0.5 grams or less of trans fatty acids “per serving” is allowed to claim “zero” on the label. Exploiting this loophole, unscrupulous companies arbitrarily reduce the serving sizes to ridiculous levels, just enough to lower the trans fats to 0.5 grams per serving. Then, in bold letters on the front of the box, they declare, “ZERO Trans Fats!” In truth, the product may be loaded with trans fats found in hydrogenated oils. This trick is also used to deceive consumers by reducing the number of calories, carbohydrates, or grams of sugar they put on the label.

Seventh, don’t be fooled by the word “wheat” because all flour derived from wheat can be labeled “wheat flour”, even if it’s processed, bleached, and stripped of its nutrition. Only “100% whole grain wheat flour” is a healthy form of flour (make sure it’s not genetically modified).

Finally, don’t be fooled into thinking that “brown” products are always healthier than “white” products. For example, brown sugar is just white sugar with brown coloring and added flavoring; brown eggs are no more healthy than white eggs; and brown bread may be no healthier than white bread because it is often made from white processed flour with brown coloring added.

In conclusion, you’ve got to be on your guard and be smarter than the food manufacturers and their deceptive schemes. Remember that ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the product, which means the top three ingredients are what you’re primarily eating and matter more than anything else. Stick with ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, and don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding herbs and berries that appear near the end of the list.

Source of this information: NewsTarget.com, Mike Adams (7/10/07)