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5 Hidden Food Label Scams That Cause Weight Gain (try to avoid)

Many people associate certain nutrition terms with “health” or “weight loss”. Although some foods are naturally healthy, such as chicken bre...

Many people associate certain nutrition terms with “health” or “weight loss”. Although some foods are naturally healthy, such as chicken breast, fruit, or vegetables, typically processed foods are not.

Whether that is due to high sugar content, or because another ingredient is overcompensating, these products are often disguised as healthy. 

Being aware of this deception before you arrive at the grocery store will help you avoid being scammed by these 5 hidden food labels that cause weight gain…

Food Label Scam #1: “Non-Fat”

Although food companies often make us believe that non-fat products are healthy, they are typically no more than junk food in disguise.

Non-fat products often need to compensate for their lack of flavor by packing in sugar and artificial chemicals. On top of that, because of the added sugars in fat-free foods, they might end up making you hold onto body fat rather than burn it off.

There are three main types of fat: saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. You should try to stay away from trans fat when you can. Saturated fats tend to come from animal sources, while unsaturated fats come from plant sources.

Fat is actually necessary for health. It keeps your hormone functions balanced and contains essential vitamins A, D, and K. When you are eating non-fat foods (that once contained fat), you are missing out on essential nutrients. This can eventually lead to higher consumption of sugar overall, leading to a risk of weight gain and even diabetes. 

Food Label Scam #2: Whole Grains

You might think all carbs are bad, but that is simply not the case. There are a few different forms of carbohydrates, but the best way to define them is in two subgroups: processed and unprocessed. 

When a carbohydrate is truly a whole grain it means that there is a hull still on the grain when you eat it. If you blend oats into flour, they are no longer considered a whole grain. Despite this, although they were once whole, the food industry likes to act as though these are the same. Hence why you see bread stating “100% whole grains”. 

The difference between processed and unprocessed grains is that processed grains (fake whole grains) are high in calories and low in nutrients. This means that you might be convinced into thinking you are eating nutritionally balanced, while you are actually eating nothing different than unhealthy white bread. 

These fake whole grains are easy to overeat. They also lead to severe spikes in blood sugar and hunger hormones, known as insulin and leptin, which lead to weight gain.

If you want to incorporate true whole grains in your diet, try sprouting or boiling them. Look for unprocessed oats, buckwheat, and even millet.

If you are really dying for bread or other bread-like products, Ezekiel bread is a great option. These sprouted grain bread, tortillas, and other products provide you with healthy servings of real whole sprouted grains.

Food Label Scam #3: Fake Protein Snacks & Bars

Protein is great right? It keeps us full and helps to build metabolism-boosting, lean muscle. Unfortunately, though, all protein is not created equal.

There are two types of protein: whole protein and processed protein.

Protein bars are basically candy bars. These supplemental bars and powders are filled with sugar and sugar substitutes. These are known as processed protein and are extremely popular right now.

Although you might see a low-calorie indication on these products, fake sugars such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose can actually cause more weight gain.

Basically, these big food companies simply add protein to unhealthy snacks and call them healthy.

Instead of reaching for a protein bar filled with fats and sugars, reach for a cup of greek yogurt, make yourself a chicken breast, or have some scrambled eggs.

Food Label Scam #4: Sports and Recovery Drinks

We see all of the athletes chugging down their Gatorade and other sports drinks during games, and you may have grown up doing the same after soccer practice.

Despite this, sports and recovery drinks are really just sugar water in disguise. Although they do have added vitamins and minerals, they are one of the biggest scams in the food market. 

The average 32-ounce sports drink contains a whopping 50 to 75 grams of sugar. This equals 14 to 19 teaspoons!

The worst part is that drinking sugary drinks does not make you full. It actually makes you hungrier.

This can result in eating more calories on top of the sugar calories you already consumed. 

Instead, much healthier options to replace electrolytes after a hard workout would be fruit, electrolyte salts, and coconut water.

Food Label Scam #5: 100-Calorie Snack Packs 

Although 100-calorie snack packs are marketed as small portions perfect for dieting, this is only a sneaky ploy to make us think that they are healthy.

100-calorie packs are always some type of junk food. These unhealthy foods spike your blood sugar and insulin as soon as they enter your mouth, immediately putting your body in fat-storing mode.

This makes it impossible to burn stubborn fat.

Plus, typically with these cleverly-marketed snack packs, you will end up eating more than you originally planned. When was the last time you only had ONE snack pack?

Although it looks healthy, only has 100 calories, and is a “diet food”, it does not mean it is good for you!

If you want to eat something unhealthy, give yourself a REAL treat after you’ve earned it.

It’s much more rewarding (and tasty) when you enjoy some ice cream or cheesecake at the end of a healthy week.