False Nutrition Information
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Good nutrition is the way to good health, therefore people have been very cautious with what they choose to eat. This is especially when it comes to low fat foodstuff that are full of nutrients. Sometimes we eat certain foods thinking that they hare healthy not knowing that they are not. Due to the press freedom and the easy access to social media, people and producers have used the media for their own good and advertised their products as healthy when indeed they are not. People who have worked in these companies know the truth of what really is behind the popular food claims. Though some of the fault falls on the producers, the FDA is also to blame because they are the ones who have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that consumers get quality products.
Individuals are also taking matters into their own hands and from the fact that diet relates to their health, people have become reliant on sources such as television, websites, radio, newspapers, friends, family and advertisement for information on nutrition which creates opportunities for misinformation on nutrition and health fraud. Health fraud can be defined as health claims that are misrepresented and can be due to self-proclaimed medical experts who come up with discoveries of their own like finding a magical cure be it a drug or food supplements that have not been proven to be truly working. This has created a situation where individuals cannot differentiate between fact and fiction on these nutrition information. The aim of this paper is to bring and increase awareness of people on the amount of nutrition information in the media that is false. This calls for people to be more careful and investigate these kinds of information in a scientific manner.
A recent surveyed has confirmed that over 1000 consumer products that have been termed ‘natural’ and were considered to be eco-friendly even more than those that are labelled ‘organic’. Many people trust the natural labelled products than the organic ones. The fact of the matter is that regulations by FDA gives directions on how the word ‘organic’ should be used in product advertisement and labelling but none for ‘natural’. FDA has not defined the term ‘natural’ officially but instead they are still stuck to their 1993 policy. There has not been an establishment on the definition of the term ‘natural’ by the FDA but its has not objected its use on food labels so long as it is not used in a misleading manner but instead its use should be truthful. Products which have the term ‘natural’ should also not have artificial flavors, synthetic substances or added color. Therefore just because a product has been labelled ‘all natural’ is not a confirmation that it is better than other products or good for your health than other products. For instance baked goods and cookies usually have a label of natural sugar and white flour. The best way to go about this matter is to look at the ingredients line and see what has been termed natural. Many people will be disappointed when they come to discover that there may be nothing natural that has been used to make the product.
Since 2006 the mandatory labelling of products the term trans-fat free has made consumers very concerned due to its negative publicity together with health recommendations. When people see a package with the trans-fat free label they feel that it is the best product to buy. The thing that many people do not know is that companies, and many of them have found means to make their products trans-fat free therefore most of them are trans-fat free only that these trans-fat have been replaced by saturated fats which makes them marginally better. Take note that the FDA will allow companies to label their products trans-fat free if that product has less than 0.5g trans-fat. It is therefore important for consumers to check the ingredient line and check for the words such as hydrogenated vegetable oil if you want to stay away from trans-fat 100%.
Made with or good source of
When one sees a claim on a product that says that the product is a ‘good source of’ a certain nutrient then be sure that it has at least 10% of the daily value. And when it comes to ingredients for instance whole grain, which says that the product is made using whole grains then be sure it has at least 10% value of the of the daily recommendation per serving. A good example is Nutri Grain Waffles which has a package claiming that it is made using 5 grams of whole grains. A consumer who doesn’t know may think that this is true when the truth of the matter is it is not. Instead of the 5 grams the product contains 1/3rd of the whole grain serving.
Contains omega-3 fatty acids.
People who have read posts have the knowledge on omega-3 fatty acids and they know that there 2 kinds of omega-3 fatty acids which are very different. The one that comes from plants such as walnuts, canola oil and flax is called Alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) while the other comes from major marine animals like tuna and salmon and they are eicosapentaenoc acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is beneficial to our health while the other two EPA and DHA have several benefits such as optimal brain development for kids. Therefore it is a belief of many people that when they buy products that have omega-3 fatty acid then they think that they will get all the fatty acids when the product only has ALA. Therefore this calls for consumers to be keen and check the label if there is DHA in the product. Also confirm from the ingredient line to know the type of omega-3 fatty acid.
No added sugars.
A consumer buys a product with the label ‘no sugar added’ because they think that they are buying a product which has no sugar. What the label really means is that there is no sugar or sugar like ingredients that were added during processing. People who want products that have not sugar in them then should look for products that have been labelled ‘sugar free’. This means that it has less than 0.5 grams of sugar preserving.
There are several other cases where people or specialists come with their own facts which have not been proven scientifically like a magic pill which melts off fats from people’s bodies and at a record time. They will also convince people to kiss more because kissing helps in burning calories therefore they can skip the gym. These individuals convert pretty falsehoods so that they can profit from them. Furthermore there are these myths that people have been made to believe like cholesterol in egg yolks can clog the arteries. This has been giving eggs a bad rap which is not good considering how good eggs are for people. To make it worse some dietitians and specialists still believe in this myth and this is due to the fact that they using old nutrition research. No association was found between egg consumption and stroke and coronary heart diseases. Another myth is that saturated fat in butter and red meat clogs the heart. This myth is very common around the world making people believe that saturated fat leads to heart disease. Saturated fat is known to affect cholesterol in that it leads to increase in HDL cholesterol which is good. No evidence has been found linking saturated fat to heart diseases and this is from an analysis that was conducted by ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. Another myth is that vegetable oil for instance sunflower, canola and corn oil are heart healthy. As was already said saturated fat is not bad for anyone instead it is good.
People also believe that eating foods rich in fats will make one add weight. This myth is only half true because fat is a source of high calories in fact it contains twice as many calories per gram when compared to proteins or carbohydrates. This means that there is a potential of gaining weight when one consumes fats rich in fats. But the truth is fat is not to blame but instead calories in excess. When someone eats food in greater quantities than can be utilized by the body, the surplus is stored as fats.
In conclusion, it is now time for people to set their facts straight and not just to believe what the media says when it comes to the best nutrition
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