Nutrition Pitfalls

Food and Marketing Tips & Tricks

Food companies are smart! They know how to label their products to increase the likelihood of someone buying them. 

Have you ever noticed how packages gain labels like Gluten-Free, Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO, Keto, Paleo, etc. as soon as that new craze gains enough momentum?  They capitalize on every new fad, diet, or food craze in order to increase their bottom line. 

One major problem with this is that we tend to believe that the foods with these labels are healthy for us because of that label, when in reality that is often not the case. 

Just because you see a label like “Organic”, doesn’t mean the food product is good for us.  We need to read the nutrition and ingredients labels on the product. The ingredients in the product may be organic, but they may also still be high in unhealthy fats, sodium, sugar, etc.  Furthermore, many of those labels have various levels/degrees or are based on standards that are not as pure as consumers are led to believe. 

What can YOU do? Here are some basic tips to help you navigate this confusing area of food and nutrition.

Basic Tip #1 – Read labels and ingredient lists. Know what is in your food.

Basic Tip #2 – If you can’t pronounce something in the ingredients list, then you shouldn’t eat that product.

Basic Tip #3 – The closer the food item is to its natural state (in other words, the less processing the food has gone through) the healthier it will be for you.

For more information on the importance of knowing about what you are eating, as well as how to read labels, what items on food labels mean check out these articles and podcasts:

Food Marketing and Labels by the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Understanding Food Marketing Terms from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

16 Most Misleading Food Labels from Health.com

Food Marketing and Labeling by Harvard’s School of Public Health

Podcast – How the Food Industry Targets Children

Podcast – How Food Marketing is Making Us Sick and Fat

Podcast – Dangerous Chemicals Hidden in Our Food Supply & The Food Industry’s Playbook

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