Food Labels, Decoded
"100% Natural"What it means: These products don’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and have no synthetic ingredients.
The health implications: As with organic foods, no research proves that natural products are better for you. Most food additives, while unsavory sounding, haven’t been shown to be bad for you.
Keep in mind: Just because something is “natural” does not mean it’s good for you. It can still have loads of sugar, fat, or calories. The soda 7Up, for instance, was once marketed as “100 percent natural.” (The label now says it has “100 percent natural flavors.”)
Bottom line: Check the ingredient list and the nutrition-facts panel to see what’s really in the item. A healthy choice will be relatively low in sugar and saturated fat, and you won’t need a chemistry degree to decipher the label.
Next: “Fat Free”
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