What Those Food Labels Really Mean

By December 10, 2019 Weight Control

Reclaiming ourselves isn’t an easy task. It takes determination and all the help we can get. But before we discuss that, we first must know “who” or “what” we are reclaiming ourselves from.

To some degree, accepting personal responsibility is the first step to great things. However, it wasn’t by accident that we got to where we are, and it’s so easy to blame ourselves for our current health and weight predicaments.

The enemy that is quietly and stealthily draining us of our health and happiness is expertly armed with advertising and marketing carefully and thoughtfully created by expert psychologists who know exactly how to manipulate and train our thoughts, impulses, and behaviors.

From fast food chains to supermarkets, everything from marketing and advertising to the layout of the food aisles, the color schemes, the special offers, and how the food on the shelves is presented, everything is meticulously planned and schemed to instruct you to buy and eat their product. In fact, even the placement of lighting is used to manipulate us. When it comes to big food chains, supermarkets and processed food manufacturers, NOTHING is random. Every detail has an intention. And our health and wellness is the result of that intention.

Health claims on packaged foods are designed to catch your attention and convince you that the product is healthy. The options are overwhelming, and when you want to lose weight or simply make good choices with the foods you eat and feed your family, it can be tricky to navigate the food aisles with all the different labels we see.


Here are some of the most common claims — and what they mean:

  • Light. Light products are processed to reduce either calories or fat. Some products are simply watered down. Check carefully to see if anything has been added instead — like sugar.
  • Multigrain. This sounds very healthy but only means that a product contains more than one type of grain. These are most likely refined grains — unless the product is marked as whole grain.
  • Natural. This does not necessarily mean that the product resembles anything natural. It simply indicates that at one point the manufacturer worked with a natural source like apples or rice.
  • Organic. This label says very little about whether a product is healthy. For example, organic sugar is still sugar.
  • No added sugar. Some products are naturally high in sugar. The fact that they don’t have added sugar doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Unhealthy sugar substitutes may also have been added.
  • Low-calorie. Low-calorie products have to have one-third fewer calories than the brand’s original product. Yet, one brand’s low-calorie version may have similar calories as another brand’s original.
  • Low-fat. This label usually means that the fat has been reduced at the cost of adding more sugar. Be very careful and read the ingredients list.
  • Low-carb. Recently, low-carb diets have been linked to improved health. Still, processed foods that are labelled low-carb are usually still processed junk foods, similar to processed low-fat foods.
  • Made with whole grains. The product may contain very little whole grains. Check the ingredients list — if whole grains aren’t in the first three ingredients, the amount is negligible.
  • Fortified or enriched. This means that some nutrients have been added to the product. For example, vitamin D is often added to milk. Yet, just because something is fortified doesn’t make it healthy.
  • Gluten-free. Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy. The product simply doesn’t contain wheat, spelt, rye, or barley. Many gluten-free foods are highly processed and loaded with unhealthy fats and sugar.
  • Fruit-flavored. Many processed foods have a name that refers to a natural flavor, such as strawberry yogurt. However, the product may not contain any fruit — only chemicals designed to taste like fruit.
  • Zero trans-fat. This phrase means “less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.” Thus, if serving sizes are misleadingly small, the product may still contain trans fat.

And of course, this doesn’t include that some ingredients like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) that are highly addictive and feature in many more processed foods than you think.

So, how do we even begin to reclaim our ‘selves’ when we feel we are already lost to this confusing onslaught of manipulation?

Here at Physician’s Weight Control Center we have put together a new initiative for 2020 – the 100 Day Challenge. Over the course of 100 days, we will initially assess your health through our physicians weight loss program, then offer 6 live webinars to inspire, educate, and challenge you. When 100 days are up, you will have all you need to sustain and maintain healthy weight loss and sufficient ‘inside’ nutritional knowledge on what foods and ingredients are good or bad. If you have already gone ‘all in’ with us, you would have already achieved a great weight loss milestone but will be ready to set more goals in your 2020 health and weight loss drive.

Let 2020 be the year you can reflect on and say, “I reclaimed my ‘self’ in 2020!”

We believe in making healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness’s programs are different from other weight loss programs in that they are specifically constructed by bariatric specialists to meet each patient’s individual needs based on their body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Our individualized programs focus on providing positive alternatives to unhealthy habits and targeting foods which provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs for optimal energy and fat metabolism. Practical exercise and hydration are also implemented into our overall program.

We encourage you to become a part of our successful weight loss program. We offer 50 years of safety, experience, knowledge and expertise found nowhere else!

For more information on our 100 Day Challenge or to learn more about what we offer, get in touch with us today!