Going grocery shopping is not about buying a few chunks of vegetables or spices anymore. Put it this way; a grocery store tends to take away a good amount of your paycheck. Whether you are picking a few things or end up stocking for the week with food products, and all the blame goes to those alluring or engaging food packaging. So, the concept of “Eating Healthy” rolls down in the drain the moment you pick something that’s not meant for you.
A lot of doctors, while sharing their patient stories, point out the fact that deceptive food marketing might not be what it used to be a few years ago. It can turn a healthy practice of grocery shopping into a complete nightmare. The aisles are filled with packages with empty promises and meaningless claims. It’s like the moment you pick such food products, a pop up comes out saying, “Deception wins.” So we are sharing some tactics that will help you outsmart such food packaging.
Don’t Get Stuck on Cool Packaging
Many processed food items present themselves as one of the healthiest options. Think about it. Just because a chocolate bar looks like a farmer has developed it, does not make it a nutritional choice. So, if you ever read words like keto, paleo, or low carb, never fall for such cheap marketing tricks. All these terms are used to guarantee that you fall for all those diet fads. And eventually, stop thinking about your health. That’s when it hits you, Oh shit!! We went the wrong way.
Don’t go With Whatever Written on Your Product
People often fall trap to the claims such as “made with real fruits”, “contains whole grains.” However, you might be unaware of the fact that the product might contain only a small bit of fruit or the quality content mentioned. It’s like even if your product carries even a single ingredient per serving, it will qualify the product to claim that it is made from real fruits or vegetables. You might be surprised to learn that as per the Whole Grains Council, even if a product contains corn, it can add “whole grain” to the label. Are you feeling cheated? It might feel worse when manufacturers start adding some trending ingredients such as ginger, ginseng on the front of their packaging. Why? It’s just meant to lure customers into their trap.
Healthier Versions Might Not be That Healthy
It is another tactic used by the manufacturers to slap a “healthy” label to the products. It’s like if you want to cut down on sodium or calorie count, the manufacturers will cut down the serving size to half. But, does that make the product “healthy”? That’s debatable. It’s because of the fact there are no ideal guidelines to define what’s healthy in a packaged food. So, next time, if you find yourself leaning towards shelves marked with “healthier food,” remember, “It might be all a scam.”
Comparisons Might be a Game to Trick You
Let’s understand this using an example. How would you feel when suddenly someone will start comparing “Transformers” with “Kungfu Panda”? Either you will end feeling amused or merely angry. Why is that? Simply because there is no comparison between the two. So, if manufacturers start comparing non-processed food items with the processed ones, they don’t have any content to make their product superior. Whole fruits or vegetables will always have the edge over processed food products at any time of the day.
Look Beyond Macronutrients
A lot of manufacturers work on hiding important stuff by taking away the attention to proteins, fats, or carbs. Although they are macronutrients and essential for different biological functions, their content in the food product has little to do with the biochemical impact of that food product. A nutritional panel for different contents is believed to have different effects on your health. So, you must look for information such as serving size, calorie content, and sodium load. The info in the nutrition panel changed this year and is expected to include “added sugars” section. So, you must check everything mentioned on the label. And choose wisely.
Have you ever wondered why packaged foods are cost-effective than the actual food? It’s because a lot of food scientists pay attention to finding choices that will replace expensive ingredients. If you think they are trying to follow some practices that will maximize the benefits of their products, the thought itself is purely naive. Imagine this: the cost of organic strawberry bars for breakfast would anytime cost less than a package of organic strawberries. Likewise, if any food item contains “flavors,” they would cost less than the real fruits.
If you find yourself going for products with symbols like 5-stars, orangutan friendly, gluten-free, vegan, Kosher, hold on a bit. Such symbols do not make packaged foods right for you. These are all marketing strategies meant to deceive you. A clinical trial found that items that highlight content like “healthier” or “good for you” impact your cholesterol levels. And when the same group of respondents was given the same product with higher quality ingredients, their cholesterol levels stooped down to be within the normal range. Don’t let your diet act as a risk factor for developing any medical condition.