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Tricky Labels “Healthify” Junk Food
Buzzword-packed claims may be just as lacking in substance as the junk food products they advertise
To judge by the promises made on package labels, you’d think that Americans are eating very well.
“Excellent source of fiber” is emblazoned on boxes of heavily-processed breakfast cereals. “Made from 100 percent whole grains” claim the labels on corporate bakeries’ breads; “low-fat” has been replaced by promises of “low in trans-fat” to signal sophistication to consumers. Most everything is “vitamin-fortified” and terms have double meanings: “autolyzed yeast extract” is only one of the semantic disguises now worn by MSG.
As more and more junk food items are being rebranded as health food items, consumers need to be wary, and informed, when they take to the aisles in search of foods that are truly healthy.
Most added vitamins and minerals are synthetic and do not absorb well in the body. Cereals, crackers, chips, cookies, juices, fruit snacks, and many other junk foods marketed to children often bear labeling that claims they are rich in certain vitamins, and contribute to a healthy diet. However, the added nutrients in such products are typically synthetic– and not easily absorbed by the body.
Refined flour-based products are almost always vitamin-bolstered, for one, because most nutrients have been stripped out during processing. The vitamins and minerals that are added back into them have been concocted in a lab, and tend to provide little or no benefits when consumed.
Many so-called healthy brands are also guilty of this deception, as they, too, fortify flour-based snack products with vitamins that would have been naturally present in the first place had not heavy processing not been a part of producing them. Crackers and breakfast cereals often undergo the most intense processing.
To tell if a food product has been synthetically fortified, look for vitamins and minerals spelled out individually in the ingredients list. If you see these additives listed, there is a good chance that the product has been highly processed and is nutritionally inadequate.
Sneaky wording and labeling omissions: Autolyzed yeast extract, GMOs, and soy
Another additive to watch out for is autolyzed yeast extract, which is basically just another name for excitoxin MSG. Monosodium glutamate often lurks in flavored snack chips, crackers, processed meats, and food bars.
And chances are very high that anything that contains corn syrup, soy or canola oil is made from products of genetically-modified (GM) origin. Even health food grocers like Whole Foods Market, may sell products containing canola oil as well as soy ingredients. Besides being of GM origin unless otherwise specified, soy ingredients can seriously alter hormone levels in the body, and many soy derivatives are created using a highly toxic solvent chemical known as hexane. But few labels are pointing out that.
Jonathan Benson, NaturalNews staff writer.
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