Don’t buy anything with a “low-fat” label. That’s because advertisers are getting sneaky and slapping “healthy” labels on food that’s secretly packed with fat and sugar. So, here’s a breakdown of what today’s top not-so-“healthy” labels really mean.
First: don’t bother with a bag of low-fat chips. A study found that people eat 30 percent more of something when it’s labeled “low-fat.” Because they automatically assume it’s healthy. But many low-fat foods have just as many, or more calories as their full-fat counterparts. Experts say the only low-fat foods that are truly low-fat are lean cuts of meat and poultry. And dairy staples like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Then, Gluten-free is the latest buzzword. There’s everything from gluten-free chips to chocolate. And a lot of people think a gluten-free diet will make them lose weight. But many gluten-free products are packed with fat and sugar to make them taste good. Plus, gluten-free food costs 3 times as much as regular versions. So, doctors say you should only buy them if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease and can’t process gluten in wheat and other grains, which only 1 percent of the population is.
And, next time you’re at a restaurant, beware of anything “Local.” A new survey found that people think any food item, from butter to hamburger meat, is healthier if it’s “local.” And the number of “local” claims on menus has jumped 13 percent in the last year. But experts say that local is only healthier when it comes to fruits and vegetables, because the recently picked produce has more nutrients.