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What Are You Eating? Read the Label Carefully

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Was that wheat bread you were eating today? Are you sure? Did the food label say:

--wheat bread?
--100 percent whole wheat bread?
--made with whole wheat?
--some other worded variation?

If you ate bread labeled “wheat bread,” it was not 100 percent whole wheat bread. Food manufacturers are sneaky with wording. You have to read the label carefully to avoid deception.

How about that low-fat product you ate yesterday? Did you read the “nutrition facts label” to see what was really in the product? Be careful when eating low-fat products for the purpose of losing weight.

Low-fat doesn't necessarily mean low-calorie. Sometimes these products contain other ingredients such as sugars to make them taste better. Carefully check the label to determine the total calories in the food product.

Are you trying to cut down on your sugar intake? If your weight loss has hit a plateau, it could be due to sneaky sugars that seem to be everywhere in the foods we eat and drink. Have you ever looked on the nutrition label to see how many sugars are in fruit juice drinks? There is a reason that those drinks taste so good. You can also find sugars in foods such as salad dressings, ketchup, sauces and gravies. The first ingredients listed are the one’s most prevalent in the product.

When you’re trying to improve your eating habits to manage weight or lose weight, don’t depend on the food title alone. Do some more investigation to make sure you are eating what you think you are eating!

According to the Journal of Consumer Research, dieters are so involved with trying to eat virtuously that they are more likely than non-dieters to choose unhealthy foods that are labeled as healthy. The Journal went on to say that It seems dieters’ focus on food names can work to their disadvantage.

"Keeping your weight-loss goal in mind as you scan the lunch menu at a café, you are careful to avoid pasta selections and instead order from the list of salad options," according to Caglar Irmak from the University of South Carolina, Beth Vallen from Loyola University, and Stefanie Rosen Robinson from the University of South Carolina. "But before you congratulate yourself for making a virtuous selection, you might want to consider whether your choice is a salad in name only.

"These days, restaurant salads can include ingredients that dieters would be likely to avoid (meats, cheeses, breads, and pasta). Potato chips are labeled 'veggie chips,' milkshakes are called 'smoothies,' and sugary drinks are named 'flavored water.' Why are dieters, who are supposedly more attuned to healthy foods, likely to be confused by these labels?

"Over time, dieters learn to focus on simply avoiding foods that they recognize as forbidden based on product name," the authors explained. "Thus, dieters likely assume that an item assigned an unhealthy name (for example, pasta) is less healthy than an item assigned a healthy name (for example, salad), and they do not spend time considering other product information that might impact their product evaluations."

I was shopping one day and noticed a soda beverage that contained cranberry juice. This is very sneaky and food manufacturers use this trick often. Cranberries are healthy. But, when you mix cranberry juice with sugary soda, you get a great-tasting, high-calorie junk food!

The food manufacturers don’t care about your healthy, weight-conscious goals for eating. They are trying to sell you a product. Don’t be fooled. Read carefully.


Journal of Consumer Research
Caglar Irmak, University of South Carolina
Beth Vallen, Loyola University
Stefanie Rosen Robinson, University of South Carolina

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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