If you’re like a lot of our readers, you or someone you know lives with type 2 diabetes. You probably do your best to read labels when shopping to buy the healthiest food choices.
But what if I told you that those labels aren’t always telling you the whole TRUTH? What if some food manufacturers blatantly lie to get you to buy their products? The following are some of the most common food marketing tricks manufacturers use to get you to believe their products are far healthier than they actually are.
Claiming to Contain Less Sugar or Reduced Sugar
Walk down any aisle in the grocery store and you’ll see boxes, bags, jars and bottles with labels that exclaim the contents contain hardly any sugar at all. Here’s the first thing you do: turn that food item around and read the nutrition information. Does it say something like “sugar: 1g per serving?” Well then, you might think it certainly does contain very little sugar.
Not so fast!
Before you happily toss that “healthy” item in your shopping cart, let’s investigate a little bit further. Take a gander at the ingredients list. Do you see any of the following words:
These are some of the most common artificial sweeteners used in food manufacturing. Now, you may assume that that’s okay. You’ve probably been told (brainwashed) that artificial sweeteners are harmless and don’t cause your blood sugar to spike.
But studies show that these common artificial sweeteners STILL cause weight gain, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And the word is still out on whether artificial sweeteners cause cancer.
Your best bet is to stay away from them. Better to eat real sugar but limit the amount you consume than rely on these toxic chemicals to help you manage your blood sugar.
The Promise of 0% Trans Fats
You no doubt see this claim on much packaging as well. And you have probably trusted the label, because after all, why would food manufacturers lie?! And so you ate food you thought had no tans fat in it, but was that label telling the truth?
First you may be wondering why trans fats are even bad for you. In a nutshell, trans fats are not natural but artificial. While we have been told (lied to) for years that animal fat from meat, dairy and eggs is bad for us, in reality, these fats are very healthy and the fats they were trying to push on us (hydrogenated vegetable oils) are the real culprits behind many bad health outcomes such as heart disease, insulin resistance and, you guessed it, type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are also responsible for causing inflammation throughout the body, which can also bring on other serious diseases like cancer.
Now back to those labels. When you see one that suggests the item you are holding contains 0% Trans Fats! … turn that item around and read the back. Do you see “hydrogenated oil” listed as an ingredient? Well, hydrogenated oil is a TRANS FAT.
Here’s how they get away with this blatant lie. The FDA allows food manufacturers to label their product with the claim of 0% trans fat so long as the product actually contains 0.5 grams or less per serving.
Sound misleading? Well, yes, that’s because it is a blatant lie. If you are trying to stay away from trans fats, and you absolutely should, avoid becoming the victim of this common food marketing trick.
The “Goodness” Of Whole Grains
We’ve all been led to believe that grains, as long as they are in their whole state, are not just better for our health but GREAT for our health. This is why so many food manufacturers decide to jump on this health bandwagon and claim that their product is made from whole grains, or, that whole grains are the first ingredient on the list!
Okay, let’s demystify this one.
First, while the argument rages on in the health and science communities, our personal feeling here at Primal blog is that whole grains, while a better choice than highly-refined grains, are still problematic for a majority of people, thanks to the gluten and lectins. So, that’s problem one, that we’ve all been led to believe that the only way we can possibly be healthy is to eat any kind of grain.
The second problem is, when you look on many food labels that claim to be made of whole grains, what you’ll often see, especially with breakfast cereals, is that the whole grain they are speaking of is (drum roll)… corn. Whole grain corn, that’s been genetically modified. Now, that may be the first ingredient on the list (oh boy!) but if you keep reading, you’re apt to find sugar as the second ingredient, and corn syrup as the third or fourth ingredient, because the sugar wasn’t enough.
Again, this is a trick, and it is used a lot with breakfast cereals. Your kids beg for the cereal because it’s sweet, and you relent because you think it has whole grains and is a healthy options for your kids. Nope. Stick with bacon and eggs for family breakfasts, much healthier!
What is the moral of this unscrupulous story?
Always read those back labels. The front of packaging claims are usually blatant lies, so always turn those bags, boxes, jars and bottles around and investigate further. I can’t stress this enough. It’s unfortunate that we have to take such measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones from unscrupulous national corporations, but this is the world we live in, where greed rules above common decency.
Please pass this blog post on to anyone you know so that they can also protect themselves and their families.
And, if you’d like to learn how you can completely reverse your type 2 diabetes (yes, you read that correctly), pick up your copy of Simple Blood Sugar.
This book was written by a doctor who has helped many of her patients completely reverse their type 2 diabetes and throw their medications away for good.