Meaningful of the information found on food labels

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Overview

Find out which of the foods you buy are healthy and which are less beneficial for health. Most people try to eat as healthy and opt for organic fruits and cereals, for example.

However, these kinds of products are really smart or just false advertising effect? Inscriptions on some labels, such as organic or bio may suggest that the product is healthy and you may want to buy it, but this choice is, in most cases, just the result of the halo effect.

The danger is that people really trust the information written on the labels that accompany food. Most likely to be misled by the labels contents are mostly people who follow different types of diets.

To help you identify truly healthier food, we present you five terms meet on the label and packaging products.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Gluten-free foods
3. Foods without trans-fats
4. Low-fat foods
5. Organic foods


Gluten-free foods

Sales of gluten-free products that are specifically designed for people with celiac disease or an inability to digest gluten (protein found in wheat, barley and rye) have doubled in recent years. This growth is largely determined by preference of famous people for these products.

People who eat gluten-free products believe they improve conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and attention deficit disorders. Also, the people who buy these foods believe that it will help them lose weight.

The reality is that buying these expensive products is not necessary unless you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, which means that the test is negative for celiac disease but are present symptoms such as diarrhea and headaches after eating protein. Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthy and do not contribute to weight loss.

They tend to have a higher level of calories and lower in fiber than regular cereal products, as they contain extra starch, fat and sugar to make them more tasteful. Most times they are not fortified with vitamin B and iron as are other refined grain products, so you can render important nutrients.


Foods without trans-fats

In some parts of the world the consumption of trans fats in restaurants was banned. These fats are formed when the oils are treated with hydrogen gas to prolong their life and change their texture.

The side effect is bad, trans fats increase total cholesterol and contribute to this: good cholesterol will be reduced and the bad cholesterol will be high.

Consumers do not fully understand what mean the term of “trans-fats” and often consider them to contain fewer calories than other, although they actually have more calories.

The reality is that manufacturers can claim that a food has zero grams of trans-fat if it has less or even a gram and a half per serving. As such, many people consume enough foods that contain these fats which are harmful to the body.

For example, if a person eats some crackers, oatmeal, a cereal bar and some cookies one day may even assimilate 5.2 grams of trans-fats even if all their labels say they contain no trans-fats.

Doctors recommend us to consume less than 2 grams of trans-fat per day. Always check among the ingredients is hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats. You can buy margarine and peanut butter with no trans-fats or hydrogenated oils. Also, if you reduce consumption of cakes, donuts, snacks, will automatically decrease the amount of trans-fat accumulated.


Low-fat foods

People prefer most of the products specified that are low in fat. Promoting the positive aspect is often enough for people to consume that product.
The reality is that many foods that are low in fat have as many calories as high-fat options. Producers will add more sugar to low-fat ice cream, cakes and salads to improve their flavor.

In addition, if you want to lose weight, you should learn that total avoidance of fats can cause unwanted effects when their consumption is resumed. Fats help installing satiety so will eat less overall.

A low-fat diet may be supplemented by refined carbohydrates such as white pasta and sweets lowering good cholesterol and contributes to increased triglyceride levels.

Instead of fear of fat, better increase intake of healthy fats and monounsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (which are contained by the seeds, nuts and oily fish such as salmon). Foods low in fat which can be purchased without any problems are lean meats and dairy.


Organic foods

A recent study revealed that when subjects were asked to distinguish between conventional and organic products, the latter assigned better taste, low in fat and calories, more fiber and higher price. People who consume such foods are encouraged by the word “organic” on the label.

The reality is that in some cases organic products are healthier. Organic milk contains healthy levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and conjugated linoleic acid which supports another important fat that fight heart disease and prevents weight gain.

Beef that comes from animals raised in a natural manner tend to have less saturated fat, more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and several carotenoids.

Organic products contain fewer pesticides but the negative aspect is the price. Opt for organic products as an alternative to those that might be contaminated. You can replace the conventional organic products when buying chips, noodles, cakes, biscuits because they do not contain pesticides.

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