Fuel Running Logo

Common Food Labelling Tricks

Submitted by Kaylie Schneider
Posted on 26 Jul, 2016

Common Food Labelling TricksFood labels can be confusing, especially if you’re just starting your journey into healthier eating. Here are some labels and phrases that might not mean what you think they do.


No trans fats or trans fats free
While many products proudly proclaim that they have no trans fats, in reality they can legally state that if per serving there is less than .5g per serving. Companies often decrease serving sizes in order to be able to label their foods as trans fats free. Trans fats are now not generally recognized as safe by the FDA as of 2013 and the 2015 dietary Guidelines recommend limiting intake of them. Trans fats are made by hydrogenating oils so if you see and partially or fully hydrogenated oils on the ingredient list, steer clear and look for a healthier option.


The phrase multigrain simply means that there is more than one type of grain in the product but doesn’t mean that its whole grain. Search for products that list a whole grain flour as the first ingredient when looking for things like breads and crackers. Whole grain flours are made of the entire grain including the germ, bran, and endosperm making them higher in fiber and B vitamins than their refined counterparts.

[Also read: How To Pick The Healthiest Bread]


No added sugar
Many children’s products tout that they have no added sugars but do they really? High up on the ingredients list often is evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, or brown rice syrup which are all just sugar! While companies aren’t adding plain white sugar, they are adding sugar through other ingredients. These treats can still be enjoyed, but keep in mind the sugar content.


Reduced fat
These products do have less fat than the traditional versions but they have to replace the fat with something. Companies often end up adding sugar or trans fats to better the taste and texture of the finished products. We all now know that added sugars and all trans fats should be limited so go for the traditional product. Products like low fat yogurt and milk may be more satiating than the nonfat versions, so they might also help you stay full for longer.

Some Other Things You May Like

back to top