The Label Companies Are Tricking You

Sometimes what looks authenticated might be a mere illusion!

It is rightly said, “Never judge a book by its cover”. When you make your way to a superstore and check through the ingredients of your food, do not let them trick you. These days, marketing has taken a whole new turn to make the products a perfect reflection of what a consumer is looking for. This is where you need to be smart instead of falling into the trap! 

What do you do if you see a food item with “organic,” written in bold over it? You buy it right away, isn’t it? It is human psychology to choose anything that is listed clearly and in bold. But, sometimes this is no more than a hoax. Companies trick you and you get tricked! After all, who will buy a product that does not appeal to the customers? 

When losing weight, you ought to be very careful with the labels. Even a slightest of misleading nutrients is likely to bounce your efforts back to square one. When you don’t see any changes on the scale, or if the numbers increase all of a sudden; confusions are inevitable. That is why; paying attention to labels of your food and dietary supplements is needed. 

Let's make one thing clear: while the front of the package might lure you into buying it, the back of the product lists the real ingredients. Every manufacturer needs to include a list of nutrients on the pack owing to the legal obligations. The truth is right there, you just need to dive into the details. 

Examples of How Label Companies Are Tricking You

  • Did You Go Through The FINE PRINTS 
  • When you see a flat 50 percent off on your favourite brand store, happiness is quite evident. But, did you ever read through terms & conditions written in fine print below? Same is the case with food and supplements products you buy when on a weight loss journey. Or worse, the companies print the text in poorly contrasting colours making it impossible for you to interpret. Now, do you get how labelled companies trick you?

  • Fall For Anything But The False Claims

  • “No artificial flavours & colours,” “100% natural,” “Organic,” “Fat-Free,” are some of the labels printed bold and big on the products sold by brands across the globe. The question here is, to what extent this information is true. The simple fact is that the brand companies are playing with your head. They know exactly how to trick you into increasing their turnovers. A little awareness is never that harmful, and neither is checking the nutrients section of the product. 

  • Big Things Come In Small Packages

  • These days’ companies have products available in all size packs. People on a weight loss quest live in a misconception that a smaller serving pack would do them no harm. If you buy even a 15-ounce can of organic soup that contains two servings, you will be harming your health. Each of the servings contains 480 milligrams of sodium and that makes for 960 milligrams in total. As a result, the body will retain more water, in turn, hampering your weight loss efforts. 

  • The Tact Of Rounding Up

  • If a food product contains less than a half of Trans fats, they have a right to round it off to “zero.” For example, a product contains 0.37 grams of Trans fat, the manufacturer is likely to list it as 0 g of Trans fats per serving. Hydrogenated and dehydrogenated oil is Trans fats too. But, how would you know there were other names for Trans fats too? So, it is suggested to go through the nutrition listings carefully. 

  • The Power Of Substitutes

  • Something such as “sugar-free,” on the label means that it is devoid of any sugar. But, who talks about the substitutes present that are equally harming as sugar? Be it the “aspartame,” “high-fructose corn syrup,” or even “sucrose;” they are sugar substitutes too. Again, read through the nutrients so that you understand that sugar has different forms. The key is to be a little aware and choose a product that is exactly what the front and the back labels say. 

  • The Green Label Tricks

  • The big brands have identified their audience so nicely that they know that even a green labelled package would be enough to lure them. And, this is a fact! People assume the green labelled packages to be too good to be true and buy it instantly. Have you ever cared to look at the nutritional labels? Don’t associate green with health. Instead of choosing a green coloured package, choose a green leafy vegetable. Natural foods are much better choices for a healthy and fit life. 

    Playing Hide and Seek  

      Through the years, food manufacturers have become smarter by observing customer behaviour. As a psychological fact, people usually only see the front of a package that has the name of the product, its tagline, and the brand. Now, why wouldn’t they use phrases or words that sway your decision into buying the product? What you read on the front is a marketing gimmick while the overlooked back holds the truth. 

      Giving an Ingredient a Lower Rank 

        If you may know, the ingredients at the back of the product are listed in the order of their proportions. It is observed that in case an individual goes through the ingredients list, he is likely to read only the top three ones. And, for instance, sugar is missing from the first three spots, so they buy it instantly. However, the trick here is that sugar is sometimes distributed in the form of brown sugar, sucrose, or even fructose corn syrup. As a result, these ingredients find their spot somewhere down the chart. 

        The Art of Highlighting the Undersized 

          A little this and a little that is what adds up to make a complete food product. Where there may be some healthy ingredients and some not so healthy ones, manufacturers tend to highlight the positives. The trick is known as “label padding.” For example, if there is only a minute amount of fibre or protein, it would be highlighted big and bold on the front wrapper of the package. In reality, the nutritional labels would be listing the protein or fibre somewhere at the bottom, which has nearly no benefit. 

          Taking Advantage of Unawareness 

            Most of the consumers have no idea as to what they are eating. You may be aware of simple names such as yeast extract but may have no idea as to what monosodium glutamate is. This is exactly the manufacturers’ take advantage of! While you think yeast extract to be some natural ingredient, it is no more than a chemical that enhances the flavours of the processed foods. This is enough to understand how marketing strategies are implemented. 

            Common Catch Phrases Used To Lure You 

            1. “High-Fibre” For the Fitness Freaks

            According to the stats, there are around sixty-six percent of weight loss enthusiasts who look for “high-fibre” listed on the food packages they buy. Yet again, most of the listed fibres are isolated that exist in the form of purified powders like maltodextrin, chicory root, or even polydextrose. In simple words, these fibres fail to offer the health benefits provided by natural fibres such as fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains. 

            1. “Made With Whole Grains,” Really? 

            A lot of food products say that they are made with whole grains. But, is that really so? Or, is it just another hoax?  The information might be true, but only to a certain extent. Yes, there might be whole grains, but only in a minute quantity. There are a number of other ingredients too that may overpower the impact of whole grains. If looking for a healthy product, one gram of fibre and ten grams of total carbohydrates prove to be the best choice. 

            1. “Fruit Juice Concentrate” for Your Sweet Tooth 

            Ok, that’s fruit and it’s healthy, of course!  But, who would tell that it is merely another name for a sweetener? The name “fruit” is only brought to use because that hits your head and spreads a positive aura and a natural liking for the product. Bingo! The marketing tactic of the brand proves to be successful. However, if you really wish to get the nutrients of fruit, have one! 

            1. “All Natural” in This Unnatural World

            There is nothing such as “all natural,” when it comes to buying food products. Every food product that is industrially manufactured is processed before it comes to the market. So, how can it be natural? It is some kind of an impractical joke if a product promises to be all natural. You should be knowledgeable enough to understand that even if a product does not contain synthetics, it may not always be healthy!

            1. When “Multi-Grain” Is a Favourite

            Before falling for such claims, have you thought if that is even possible? Do not confuse multigrain with whole grain! Multigrain does not mean healthy; it just means that it is made from varied grain types. Now that is some news, eh? The real ingredient that you should be looking for is “whole grain,” whereas most people end up buying “multigrain.” 

            1. “Farm Fresh”, Like Seriously?

            This term is only valid for meat, specifically poultry that has not been frozen ever. Otherwise, “farm fresh,” has literally no meaning. It is one of the most stupid gimmicks of food companies. Be it the cage-free eggs or the battery-cage eggs; they are produced on the farm. So, what is the hype around them being farm fresh? 

            1. “Organic”-The Latest Trend in the Market 

            If the wrapper of a sugar-laden chocolate bar lists it to be organic, would you buy it? Maybe, you will as the word organic hit the chord right. Every catchphrase has a popularity rank associated with it, where organic happens to be in the first position. Nowadays, if something is organic that means it is healthy, but it can also be a brand tricking you into gaining weight you had long forgotten. 

            1. “Your Energy Booster” Ups the Metabolism 

            Energy comes from glucose, which is the basic form of sugar. If a food product promises to lift up your energy levels, it surely has a lot of sugar in it. Yes, you may feel all energized to face the rigorous gym sessions and stringent diet plans, but what about the excessive sugar it adds to the system? Do not fall for “energy,” as your willpower may be enough to get you to the get-up-and-move mode. 

            1. “Superfoods,” That Cost You Much

            If you see a big bold “Superfoods,” listed on a package, you tend to think that these foods will speed up your weight loss efforts. In reality, superfoods use trendy and extravagant ingredients that cost you much more than usual. So, what will be the point if you pay more and get no dietary benefits in return? 

            1. “No Artificial Colours”, For Good or Worse?

            If a product label print says that it has no artificial flavours, such as “tartrazine,” you are free to trust them. But, what about other colouring agents, sugar, and fats? None of that can be ignored! And, when it is about your health and fitness endeavours, there is no point in taking any risks. 

            1. “Light,” For All Those Snacky Meals

            Light is a term that is misinterpreted by people surfing the superstores as it may have a different definition for a different item. For instance, you come across a milk packet that claims to be light. It means that the milk packet contains fewer fats when compared to its full-fat version. On the other hand, if you are coming across a bottle of light olive oil, it might just mean that it does not have a strong flavour. Remember, what we said about reading the labels? 

            1. High In Proteins,” a Healthier Option?

            For any fitness freak, proteins matter a ton and that is why manufacturers know how to play with your mind. Any product that advertises it to be high on proteins becomes the first choice for the weight losers. For a record, high proteins imply that it contains 25 percent more proteins than its original version, but most of the products only falsely claim it. Reading through the nutritional chart is never harmful in this case.  

            A Nutritional Chart to Compare before Making a Purchase

            Ingredient (Per Hundred Grams)

            Not Ok 



            • Total Fats 

            >10 grams 

            3-10 grams 

            <3 grams

            • Sugar 

            >15 grams

            5-15 grams

            <5 grams

            • Saturated Fats

            >3 grams

            1.5-3 grams

            <1.5 grams

            • Sodium

            >400 mg

            120-400 mg

            <120 mg

            If the product lists fibre, make sure it is at least three grams per serving. Also, if you have a choice of drinking any beverage; make sure to choose water first! 

            Takeaway Tips

            • If you notice lengthy chemical names of ingredients that cannot be even pronounced, prefer not to buy it. Manufacturers hide their harmful ingredients behind the realm of unrecognizable names. 

            • Avoid the attractive and alluring ingredients that may be decorated on the front side of the package. Only believe what is printed on the backside of the ingredients label.

            • If you come across words like “sprouted,” or even “raw,” you would be a smart shopper to buy them. These are healthier options that would augment your pace towards reaching your weight loss goals. 

            • If you are into a misconception that brown is better than white, do not fall into the trap. Most of the time, brown products are just an unhealthy version of white with added colouring agents and flavours. If you choose brown eggs or brown bread over the whiter ones, you are literally making no difference. 

            • Never ignore the top three ingredients of a food product ingredients’ label. As already discussed, the food ingredient charts are arranged in the order of proportion. And, the top three are the primary sources of ingredients that you are mostly consuming.  

            Wish to avert the misleading? Choose healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables first! You’ll be surely doing a favour to your health and your weight loss efforts.

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