Grocery stores are flooded with them. Ads on TV display them all the time. And online… Well let’s just say you come across it on a daily basis…
They are what you would call “Trigger Words” or “Buzz Words.”
Words that try to get your attention, trying to make something that is UNHEALTHY… Seem healthy. And here’s the top 5 words you need to be most aware of…
1) All Natural
You see this one everywhere… Yet did you know that The Food and Drug Administration has no definition for the words “All Natural”?
Food companies can slap the “All Natural” label on just about anything as long as it doesn’t contain contain added colors, artificial flavors, or “synthetic substances.”
This means there’s lots of room for interpretation.
This is the reason that some fruit snacks, candy, and even Fritos Bean Dip can be labeled as “All Natural.” It’s also the reason you see some chicken or meats with this label. Even though the chicken or meat is injected with preservatives, it’s still considered to be “all natural.”
What’s worse is that food companies say products are “natural” even though they have high fructose corn syrup in them. They argue that since high fructose corn syrup comes from corn, it’s “natural”…
Think again. Most “All Natural” foods are NOT natural. You don’t see vegetables getting labeled like this do you?
2) Gluten Free
Ahh yes… One of my favorites. This is definitely one that is popping up more and more in recent years… Yet, did you know that 90% of the foods that are labeled “gluten free”, never had gluten in them to begin with?
That’s right, 99.9% of the “Gluten Free” label is pure marketing.
According to one leading expert, “Unless you have metabolic problems, gluten-free products don’t help you lose weight and are not necessarily good for you. But because it’s a buzz word, it’s put on packages.”
The MAIN problem with gluten is that the foods that it’s found in are almost all processed. You won’t find gluten in REAL foods like grass fed beef, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.
Although I don’t support eating gluten, mainly because it’s in processed foods, if you are going to eat something processed… There is no need to spend the extra money to go gluten free unless you are highly affected by it.
Organic foods used to be more open to interpretation, however, recently this has changed. Now, an organic product must contain 95% or more ingredients that were grown or processed without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
If a product is labeled as “made with organic ingredients” like the Oreo’s to the right… This means a minimum of 70% of the ingredients must meet the organic standards.
Keep in mind, however, that just because something is organic… Doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
There’s a reason Macaroni & Cheese, sugar filled Toaster Pastries, and Oreo’s are labeled organic… It’s not because they are healthy, it’s because they are being marketed well…
4) Fat Free
One of the most misleading and most marketed labels ever…
Just because a product is labeled fat-free doesn’t mean it is healthy… By any means!
The Snack-Pack to the right is labeled as “Fat Free” however when has that ever been touted as a “healthy” snack option.
Most times when the fat content is taken out, the sugar content or artificial sugar content goes up.
So although you may be eating zero fat, you are instead ingesting artificial sweeteners or sugar which leads to fat storage.
Instead of falling for the fat free scam, try one of the 101 fat burning snack recipes. They are healthy and delicious!
The word “Fresh” when it comes to food has a loose meaning…
For example, even though the ingredients in your salad at Subway may be a few weeks old, they still say their salads are “fresh” because they are made right in front of you.
The same is true for many other restaurants… Although the menu may say “fresh fish” for example, some places are saying it’s fresh because it’s made that night. NOT because the fish is fresh that day.
The fish could have been frozen for 2-weeks for all you know, yet, you are getting a “fresh” piece of fish because it’s prepared that night for you in the restaurant.
This is just another example of a “trigger word” that is loosely thrown around.
Bonus Word: Local
I always try to buy local foods, however, you once again need to be careful. In the restaurant business, the word “Local” means that the food came from within a 400-mile radius of the restaurant.
At Chipotle, “local” means within 350 miles of the restaurant.
Although it is more local than going overseas for food, it’s still quite a way for the foods to travel. The only way to get true local food is from farmers markets where you know exactly where the person selling is from.
As you can see, there are many trigger words that companies use to draw you in.
Hopefully, with this list, you are now able to cut through the crap and start eating the foods that are truly best for your body.