One thing i am very mindful is how people who are trying very hard to be healthy and chose healthy foods, are often exploited by compelling advertising and misleading food labels. I was reminded of this issue, when I read Dr. Mark Hyman’s excellent post on this very topic. I’ll let Mark tell the story:
‘On a recent plane ride to a medical conference, I started a conversation with the man sitting next to me to pass the time. I told him that I was a physician working in the area of nutrition.
He exclaimed that the new low-carb craze was a boon for business. I assumed he was in the food business — but I was wrong.
When I asked him what he did for a living, he replied that he worked in the wood pulp industry.
So what’s the connection between wood pulp and low carbs?
As it turns out, cellulose — an indigestible fiber starch — is one of the main ingredients in processed low-carb foods.
And what’s another name for cellulose?
Yes, cellulose gives us those low net carbs that food manufacturers like to cite on labels.
The bad news: Cellulose provides no nutrition — and maybe even a lot of gas. Termites can digest wood, but humans can’t!
This is just one example of how the food industry uses slick marketing techniques to confuse, coerce, and bamboozle you into thinking that you’re doing something good for yourself by buying their new “health food” products that are simply slightly modified junk foods.’
Whilst that all sounds very alarming and, if you read the full post, Mark also highlights the problem with misleading food label, highlighting the real need to know what you’re eating, and to eat natural, unprocessed, organic, whole foods as far as possible – with this philosophy, you can’t go too wrong.
Unfortunately this isn’t always possible and so it’s really important to educate yourself on what labels mean and Mark’s guidelines provide a very useful and practical resource:
‘Labels contain both the ingredients and specific (but not all) nutrition information. If the label lists any ingredients that you don’t recognize, you should likely stay away from it.
Follow these tips, too:
1) Don’t be duped by marketing.