6 Mistakes You are Making When Reading Labels

Mistake #1:  The "Light" version of a product is healthier for me. 

"Light" products are processed to reduce either calories or fat, and some products are simply watered down. Most of the time manufacturers add more of something else to make up for removing whatever they removed to make the product "light". Most of the time, this means they have added more sugar.  

Mistake #2:  Products that say they are "whole grain" are very good for me. 

This sounds very healthy, but basically just means that they used whole wheat flour in the product. Cereals are notorious for using this label to convince you that this is a way to get good fiber in your diet, hoping you will ignore the fact that there that their product is 40% sugar. 

Mistake #3:  Products that say "all natural" are healthy choices. 

This does not necessarily mean that the product resembles anything natural. It simply means that at some point the manufacturer had a natural source (for example, apples or rice) to work with.  

Mistake #4: If it is organic it is healthy.

This label says very little about whether the product is healthy or not. For example, organic sugar is still sugar.  It may not have been grown with the pesticides that conventional produce is grown with, but it doesn't magically make sugar good for you just because its organic. 

Mistake #5:  If it says "no added sugar" then it is a low carb choice. 

Some products are naturally high in sugar. The fact that they don’t have added sugar doesn’t mean they’re healthy. For example, many fruit juices and canned fruits use this label. Both of these products are very high in carbohydrates, despite the "no added sugar" label. 

Mistake #6:  If it is gluten free then it is a healthy choice.

Gluten-free does not equal healthy. It simply means that the product doesn’t contain wheat, spelt, rye or barley. Many foods are gluten-free but can be highly processed and loaded with calories, unhealthy fats and sugars. 



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