Beware of “healthy-sounding” catch words on food labels!
Beware that certain claims highlighted on food labels don’t necessarily indicate the product is healthy for you. Unless you read the “Nurtrition Facts” table, these catchy claims only indicate specifically what they are stating:
- Cholesterol Free: means there’s no saturated fats from animal sources
- Diet: you are inclined to consume larger quantities as you presume these are “healthier” options but sugar substitutes end up causing more harm than the non-diet options
- Fat-free & Low fat: many of these foods contain fillers like fruit puree, fruit juice, dextrin, syrup, sucrose or glucose-fructose (which are all carbs) to add texture and flavour lost with the fat
- Farmer’s Market (or any term using the word “farm”): this does not indicate the product was made using healthy ingredients. Check details on the label
- Gluten-free: many of these foods contain extra additives and preservatives like fat, sodium and sugar to improve taste
- Low-Sodium: lower content than the brand’s regular option but check for content levels of other ingredients as well
- Natural: only means there’s no additives or preservatives, but is it good for you?
Here is a list of “ingredients” you may find on Nutrition Labels that you should try to avoid:
- Artificial Colourings: cause hyperactivity in children, cancer and allergic reactions
- Artificial Sweeteners: are linked to cancer and affect the nervous system
- Brominated Vegetable Oil: “BVO” residues accumulate in the body’s fat stores and can be transferred from mother to child through nursing and can cause heart lesions, fatty liver, impaired growth and development
- Caramel Colouring: this is a possible human carcinogen
- Carrageenan: a seaweed-derived natural additive used in low-fat milk & milk alternatives as an emulsifier
- Good: “Ungraded” is what should be used BUT…
- Bad: “Degraded” is a recognized carcinogen & found in all foods tested – up to 25% at the worst
- Fructose: concentrated fructose in processed foods increases levels of circulating blood lipids (fats), obesity risk, uric acid levels (gout & heart disease) and fatty liver
- Monosodium Glutamate: “MSG” is a flavour enhancer that causes headaches, nausea, weakness, burning sensations in the neck, forearms, wheezing, increased heart rate & breathing difficulties.
- Other names for MSG are: Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Sodium Glutamate or Monohydrate
- Nitrites: a food preservative found in processed meats linked to increased cancer risk
- Cultured Celery Extract: this is a natural source of nitrites and is found in products labelled as “natural with no added preservatives”
- Sodium Nitrite: a colour and taste stabilizer for meat that increases risk of cancer for children & pregnant women
The fact that Health Canada allows these ingredients to be included in the food sold in Canadian grocery stores should tell you what their priorities are, and it’s not YOUR health. The factor that motivates these organizations that have government backing with the most influence on citizens is always the same: MONEY.
Don’t ever think something is OK for you just because it’s legal or the government said it isn’t bad. Blindly following the powers that be is what will make you sick or get you killed. Be the captain of your own ship and do your homework when it comes to your health because $ is worth more to them than your life.