At the supermarket, do you buy food just because the label says “low cholesterol” or “low calories?” Unfortunately, you might be getting duped! Here are some food label gimmicks you need to avoid, so you don’t become a grocery store chump! This comes from the Reader’s Digest guide: "Forbidden Advice."

  • Beware of foods that say “no cholesterol” on the packaging. Because it could be just a marketing ploy. Cholesterol is a fat that occurs only in animal products – like meat, fish and eggs. So if you see a box of cereal boasting ‘no cholesterol’ well, it was never in there to begin with! The same goes for cooking oil that came from corn, olives, or sunflower seeds. Of course they don’t have any cholesterol either!
  • Here’s another food label red-flag: A long list of ingredients. Nutrition professor Marion Nestle says in almost every case – the shorter the list of ingredients, the better. A lot of foods are filled with additives to enhance the look or taste or chemicals to make food last longer on the shelf. So if you’re comparing two brands of the same item, go with the one with fewer ingredients.
  • Sneaky serving sizes. EVERY food item sold in North America must have a “Nutrition Facts” label printed on the package, but some of these “facts” can be misleading. For instance, you might see a candy bar that boasts: “only 100 calories!” Sounds good, right? If the Nutrition label lists three servings per package, you’ll actually be eating 300 calories!
  • Also beware of the words: ‘made with wheat.’ Dietician Rachel Brandeis did some research and found companies that claimed their product was “made with wheat.” In reality, they were just adding caramel food coloring to white flour. The truth is, processed flour signals the body to produce more insulin and sets the stage for turning calories into fat. So from now on, make sure the word “whole” is the first thing on the ingredient list.  as in “whole wheat flour.”