The term Lite/ Light on food packages may not mean low fat.
I know right.🤔 According to the food standards code the term light or lite is in fact a comparative food claim. What does this mean, well, essentially it means that it can be used as a comparison to an original or different product. It is not a term that MUST mean low fat or low calorie. Let’s take a lite chocolate bar for example. This would suggest the bar is low in fat or calories. However, it could also just mean lite in colour, texture or flavour in comparison to say the ‘non-lite’ or original product.
Food companies are out there to make money. They will do whatever they can to entice you to buy their products and that is what their marketing teams are for. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time food labelling is helpful and there to make our lives easier, however sometimes, the simple labelling techniques and statements on products are all to convincing not to buy.
Others to look out for include:
Gluten free – As I have said before this doesn’t mean it is better for you (unless you are coeliac or gluten intolerant). Furthermore, often you will find they list ‘gluten free’ on products which as naturally gluten free (like rice) due to this common perception that gluten is bad for you.
Boost Immunity – If you are a healthy person boosting or turning up your immune system is called inflammation. That is not good. Don’t assume because it says boosts immunity you won’t get a cold this winter.
Probiotic – This one has grown significantly. I see it on basically anything fermented. This ‘probiotic’ and ‘boosts immunity’ craze have grown significantly along with the rise of ‘gut health’. We know that having a healthy gut is vital to a healthy immune system and now products are labelled 'boosts immunity' because they contain ‘beneficial bacteria’ which are good for your gut. These foods have beneficial bacteria, yes, but to claim they are probiotic and immune boosting can be misleading (post soon to come about gut health, pre and pro biotics so watch this space).
Take Home: Label reading it tricky at the best of times. Some times packaging and label claims can be tricky so don't always take them at face value. Get in touch if you would like a free wallet card like this one -->
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