So my mom caught me taking pictures of food from her fridge. I’m on vacation visiting family and I open the fridge and find some interesting things. People might be leery of letting me come over now.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that the food industry might not want you to know. Labels are deceptive. They are meant to capture your interest and get you to buy the product. They are very sneaky.
Even though I know better, I still fall for it every once in a while. It usually happens when I’m in a rush and buying something that shouldn’t have added ingredients (sun dried tomatoes was one bad purchase).
Ignore the Front of the Label, Look at the Back.
Mayonnaise made with real olive oil! Yay! Oh wait, olive oil is just one of the oils used and is on the bottom of the list. Soybean oil is the main oil ingredient still. Pesto is supposed to be basically basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and…olive oil, right? Most pesto sauces available in the store contain only a token amount of olive oil so they can claim on the front of the label. What so bad about soybean oil and canola oil? They are very high in PUFA’s, polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nasty stuff. You can read more about it here: 5 Secrets You Need to Know About PUFA’s.
Always Always Always Read the Ingredients.
I was super excited to see salad dressing finally made with olive oil… until I read the ingredients. Yes, they do contain some olive oil but it’s mostly a mix of soybean and canola oil. Again, just a token amount of olive oil so they can slap it on the label.
Here is another example of the need to read labels. This peanut butter claims “0 Trans Fats!” on the front yet has listed in the ingredients “fully hydrogentated oils”. Hydrogentated oils = trans fats. Check out the label below. In the Nutrition Facts section it still claims “Trans fats 0″. How can they claim zero trans fats when we can see plain as day they are listed in the ingredients? They can claim zero if the amount falls below .5% per serving. Guess what the sneaky food companies do? They play the serving sizes so the percentage is under .5% and they don’t have to claim it. This peanut butter does in fact contain trans fats.
Labels aren’t meant to be informative, they are meant to sell a product. Read the ingredients of everything you buy.