Beware of Vague Marketing Claims
Manufacturers often make ambiguous claims on the front of their packages that don’t always add up to what’s listed on the nutrition facts label. Here are some examples:
Even when a food claims to be a “fruit drink,” it may contain very little real fruit or juice.
“Fortified, enriched” often means that a food was so highly-processed and so stripped of its native vitamins, minerals, and fiber, that some had to be added back in.
“Made with multi-grains” does not mean whole grains. Check ingredients for a 100% whole-grain product.
“Natural or no artificial ingredients” can still be over-processed and unhealthy.
“Fat-Free” is often your cue that this food contains high amounts of sugar, salt, or artificial flavors to compensate for the fact that removing all fat leaves food tasteless.
"Sugar-Free" is just another marketing claim with a variety of meanings. Sometimes sugar-free products are free from cane sugar but still use ingredients like maple syrup, honey, or molasses. Other times, sugar-free products are full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners that can lead to a variety of health problems. Some sugar alcohols, such as maltitol and xylitol used in many sugar-free candies, are now known to be partially absorbed and can still raise blood sugar. Many sugar-free foods are not lower in calories than the alternative and can cause significant digestive issues.