Liar, liar, pants on fire.  That’s what you should be chanting every time you go down the aisles at your store.  That’s what you should be stating to the USDA.  These are the people in charge of approving the labels on food.  A noble concept, to be sure.  However, appearances, as you know, can be deceiving.  Your labels are lying to you, and you probably know it.  I’ll jabber about some of the most egregious examples, and leave the rest to you.

Lie #1 – Natural.  Products that claim to be “natural”, often times aren’t.  For example, “natural” cheetos, doritos, etc.  Yes, they are based in corn, which is a natural substance.  But when was the last time you tried to grow maltodextrin or disodium phosphate?  The fact is that the corn and the product are so processed, that they are barely recognizable as food, much less corn.  Another example is tortillas.  Whether they be spinach, tomato or whatever.  You’d be hard-pressed to find an actual vegetable in them.  They look nice.  Green, red, but that is all thanks to our friends red and yellow dyes.

Lie #2 – The second label lie, has to do with juices that claim to be full servings of fruits and vegetables.  Now, where as they may have many of the vitamins and minerals that fruits and veggies do, they lack something very important….dietary fiber.  This substance gives food bulk and helps to fill you up.  It also aids in digestive health.  The juices simply take the concentrated part of the fruit and put it in a bottle.  Some juice is fine and good, but keep it limited, and do NOT rely on it as a suitable replacement for real food.

Lie #3 – 0 Trans Fat.  This has been the real buzz stuff recently.  With all the concern about trans fats and how bad they are for us, it’s a legitimate concern.  So much so that they have been showing up on our labels since 2006.  However, when you read 0g of trans fat, be wary.  There could still be up to 1/2 gram per serving.  As long as they can round the total down to zero, then it counts as zero.  Sneaky, huh?  Look for ingredients like hydrogenated (or partially-hydrogenated) oils.  These are the biggest culprits that lead to the development of trans fats in a food.  Avoid whenever you can.

So watch what you eat, because you ARE what you eat.  The CDC reports (and we’ve stated in this humble blog before) that the majority of chronic disease is nutritionally related.  If you eat well, you will be well.  If you eat poorly, your health will suffer.  BE WELL!!!