If you’re confused by all the claims being made on food packaging, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is trying to sort it out for you. Here are some common, but misleading claims made on food packages:
Lightly-sweetened: If you see this on a box of cereal, you probably think it means there’s less sugar. But it actually means nothing. The U-S-D-A has NO regulations concerning claims of “low sugar” or “lightly sweetened.”
What does it mean when the package says “A good source of fiber”: Some food makers are adding something called “isolated fibers” to their products. This is not the same as traditional sources, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables or fruit. Instead, these “isolated fibers” come from substances which haven’t been proven to lower blood sugar or cholesterol like traditional fiber. So if you really want fiber, stick to whole foods.
And disregard any package that says, “Strengthens your immune system”: This phrase makes you think the product will ward off disease. But it’s really just a clever way of getting around FDA rules regarding health claims. What will strengthen your immune system are foods that have no packaging – like fruits and vegetables.