There are several ways that manufacturers still tend to deceive the customers and get around the FDA regulations. A few of them to look out for are presented here.
There are several ways that manufacturers advertise their product while getting around FDA guidelines. The best and the most common way to do this is by vague labels. Words like natural, fresh and low-fat have to be proven and are more difficult to keep.
However, words like strengthens, invigorates, fortifies are great sounding with no real meaning. The FDA is helpless when such words are used because it is as ambiguous as it sounds. You can neither prove nor disprove that the given energy drink or supplement can in fact do any of those things.
Seemingly technical terms, like breakthrough and patented formula are just as vague as any of the other words. It is important to be careful while buying products with these wordings.
The confusing world of ‘portions’
There is no standard serving size. Hence, manufacturers have a nice play around this one. Most food items display nutrient lists for a single portion or a single serving only. This is deceptive because the consumer assumes that the nutrient list is for the entire product. Chocolate shake bottle will display only 100 calories on the nutrient list because the nutrient list will be given per serving. Actually, somewhere else it might be written that the bottle contains 5 servings. So you drink down 500 calories thinking you only had a 100. This really can be very deceptive so read the label carefully.
Did you know that fats are of several types and that only some fats are harmful while some are actually needed? Trans fats are the bad ones. They are foreign to the body and can cause several health problems including obesity. However, labels are not required to show the amount of trans fats.
So when they say that it is low fat, they might mean only the total and saturated fats. It has nothing to say about trans fat. This can be utterly deceptive and harmful to your health.
But you can get around this deception by looking out for words like ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’.
If you take care to avoid artificial products then you should be aware of coded ingredients. These are generally listed at the end of the ingredients, which you might even miss. Things like E4 or Z11. Seem completely harmless, isn’t it? However, they are codes for long chemical names.
It is not so that all coded ingredients are bad but if it has to be coded then I would rather not buy it.
You might probably know this but you should also be aware of ingredients that are listed as ‘artificial’ or containing ‘preservatives’.
Make an informed choice
You should remember that sometimes manufacturers use labels to mislead us rather than guide us. So be careful of the deceptions they can use and you will be on the road to a healthy future.