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Claims Unveiled: How To Read And Understand The Claims On Food Labels For Better Nutrition

Claims Unveiled How To Read And Understand The Claims On Food Labels For Better Nutrition

Don't be fooled by food label claims. Learn how to read and understand them for better nutrition. Discover the truth behind "low-fat," "organic," "gluten-free," and more. Contact us for a consultation on your healthy lifestyle journey.

As a nutritionist, I often get asked about the claims that are made on food labels. These claims, such as "low-fat" or "organic," can be misleading if not understood properly. In this article, I'll break down what these claims are, why they're important, and how to read them on a food label.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the claims that are made on food labels. These claims are intended to help consumers make informed choices about the food they consume. However, it's important to understand that not all claims are created equal and not all claims are regulated by the FDA.

One of the most common claims that you'll see on food labels is "low-fat." A product can be labeled as "low-fat" if it contains 3 grams of fat or less per serving, but that doesn't necessarily make it healthy. It's important to read the label and understand what the claim means in terms of the product's nutritional content. A product that is low in fat may still be high in sugar or sodium, for example.

Another claim that you'll see on food labels is "organic." The USDA regulates the use of the term "organic" on food labels. Products that are labeled as organic must meet certain standards, such as not being grown with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. However, it's important to note that organic does not necessarily mean that the product is healthy. Organic usually equals more expensive, making it hard to eat ‘clean’ if you are on a budget. Luckily there are some helpful guides on which produce will contain the most pesticide residue and which will have the least and are generally safer to buy non-organic. You can google ‘the dirty dozen’ and the ‘clean fifteen’ to get a guide on the produce that is worth buying organic. These lists usually differ amongst countries, as every government has different laws on the use of pesticides.

The label may also make claims such as "gluten-free" or "non-GMO" which are regulated by the FDA. It's important to understand what these claims mean in terms of the product's nutritional content. A gluten-free product may still be high in sugar or sodium, for example.

In conclusion, it's important to be aware of the claims that are made on food labels and understand what they mean in terms of the product's nutritional content. By paying attention to these claims, you can make informed choices about the food you consume. if you have any questions or concerns about the claims on food labels or would like to learn more about how to make informed choices about the food you consume, I encourage you to consult with one of our qualified nutritionists. They can provide personalised advice and guidance to help you achieve your health goals.

References:

1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Understanding Food Labels: https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/understanding-new-nutrition-facts-label

2. Mayo Clinic. Nutrition Facts: A guide to food labels: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/nutrition-facts/art-20048426

3. Harvard Health Publishing. Decoding food labels: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/decoding-food-labels

4. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Understanding Food Label Claims: https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/understanding-food-label-claims

5. Center for Science in the Public Interest. How to Read a Food Label: https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/label-reading-101

FAQ’s

What are the claims that are made on food labels?

Claims that are made on food labels include "low-fat," "organic," "gluten-free," "non-GMO," etc. These claims are intended to help consumers make informed choices about the food they consume.

How are claims on food labels regulated?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the claims that are made on food labels. Some claims such as "organic" are also regulated by the USDA.

Does a "low-fat" label on a product mean it is healthy?

No, a product labeled as "low-fat" may still be high in sugar or sodium and may not be healthy. It's important to read the label and understand what the claim means in terms of the product's nutritional content.

Does "organic" label on a product mean it is healthy?

No, an "organic" label on a product means that the product meets certain standards, such as not being grown with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. But it doesn't necessarily mean that the product is healthy.

Can I reach out to you for more information about understanding claims on food labels?

Yes, as a nutritionist, I'm always happy to help people learn more about this topic or start their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Please feel free to contact me, and I'll be more than happy to assist you.

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