It drives me crazy every time I see a “tricky” looking package that misleads consumers into thinking one thing or another. There is no question that the terminology on food packages these days can be hard to decipher. That is why I like to say just ignore the front (especially the health claims) and only read the ingredients on the back when making your purchase decisions.
These are perfect examples of why you really can’t judge anything by the way it looks on the outside!
|Judging by its cover…
|What’s really inside
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|I used to buy this exact bread up until our real food transition earlier this year. I mean it says “wheat” right on the front so it must be some sort of combination bread or as close to “wheat” as you can get and still be eating white bread, right?
|In my opinion this product tackles one of the biggest misconceptions out there when it comes to grains. For some reason “whole-wheat” has been given the nickname “wheat”. But you see, even white flour and white bread are technically made from the wheat plant. It is just a highly refined version of wheat (after all the good stuff is taken out that is). To truly get the goodness that wheat has to offer it must be “whole-wheat”, and trust me if it is whole it will say it. If something simply says “wheat” then keep on looking.
|This one is fairly similar to the one above. The front of the box says they are “wheat” and it also says they are made with honey, which most of us know is a slightly more natural alternative to sugar (although it should still be consumed in moderation).
|I don’t want to sound like a broken record so just refer to the product above in regards to the word “wheat” alone not really meaning anything good. Also, when you check the ingredients you won’t even see honey on the list, it does have sugar listed as the third* ingredient though. And make sure you don’t miss the fine print that informs you this product is “artificially flavored” after all. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
|Here is another product that I used to fall for as well…thinking it was a great choice for my kids as opposed to just plain white pasta. As it says on the front it is a good source of protein and omega-3. So one could only assume that “non-plus” pasta doesn’t provide these nutrients?
|As it turns out the absolute best pasta choice out there is simply just good ol’ whole-wheat (or another whole-grain pasta). There doesn’t need to be any fancy health claims or nutrients added to whole-wheat pasta, because it is naturally packed with the good stuff. This plus pasta product is made with white flour and a few extras, but there is nothing whole-grain about it.
|I actually fell for this one pretty recently…just for a few moments though. The very large words on the front that read “Real Fruit Bites” caught my eye as I am always looking for new real food products that we haven’t tried before.
|Once you look a little closer you see the fine print underneath the big words that say “with yogurt” and pretty much any flavored yogurt is full of sugar. It’s not to say that this snack isn’t better than a bag of chips, I am just saying that the wording is a little tricky when the second* ingredient is a yogurt coating that is packed full of sugar!
*According to the FDA’s website “Listing ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first.”