When it comes to the food we buy, experts say there are some healthy-sounding phrases that we should take with a grain of salt! Here’s what you need to know about the most common food phrases, according to registered dietician Ilyse Schapiro:
Phrase #1: “Fortified with Omega-3s.” You’ll see that on a lot of breads and cereals and it sounds healthy, because studies show that consuming a gram of omega-3s daily can reduce our risk of developing heart disease, and dementia! The problem is that the omega-3s in breads and cereals are a different type than the ones linked to boosting our health – which mostly come from fish! So, they’re not really doing much for us.
Healthy-sounding phrase #2: “With added fiber.” It’s true that eating more fiber can help lower cholesterol, and make it easier to lose weight. But our expert says we should be wary of fiber added to foods that are normally fiber-free – like yogurt. She says those use “insoluble fiber,” which is good for helping us stay regular in the bathroom, but that’s about it.
Also beware of the phrase: “Made with whole grains”. Schapiro says it’s meaningless unless the first ingredient listed on the package says “whole grain” otherwise, the food may contain mostly processed grains – like white flour - which is linked to higher insulin levels, and an increased risk of diabetes.
One more healthy-sounding phrase we can ignore: “Contains 100 percent vitamin C.” Schapiro says if you’re buying food because you think you need more vitamin C in your diet, consider this: Studies show that most of us get all the C we need from eating just two servings of fruits or vegetables daily.