Don't be tricked by 'health food' false labels - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Don't be tricked by 'health food' false labels

(NBC) - Grocery shoppers could be misled when shopping for health food due to labels that claim foods are fat free, organic and whole grain.

Many foods labeled to look like "diet food" may be comparable to eating junk food.

"Nutrition uses marketing just like every other industry does, so what's marketed on that package doesn't really mean it's the healthiest choice," said registered dietitian Amy Goodson. "Many times there's just as many calories in the health food as there is in the counterpart."

Veggie Chips, for example, contained a full serving of vegetables in every ounce, but they also contained the same amount of calories and fat as regular potato chips. Other items that looked healthier from the front than the back include energy bars and fruit smoothies.

Consumers should also be aware that the FDA has no requirement that frozen yogurt have any live active cultures, so don't let the word "yogurt" fool you, especially when it's in the frozen form.

While on the subject of dessert, don't let organic cookies trick you either.

"Many people that wouldn't buy cookies, pick up organic, thinks it's good for you and can eat as many as they want," Goodson said. "But the organic version may have just as many calories as its Oreo counterpart."

Other items Goodson says to read the labels carefully on are granola, raisin bran and rice milk. She said all three can contain high amounts of sugar and calories.

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