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Be on The Lookout For These Food Packaging Scam Phrases

Scams may affect more than just your wallet, they can effect your health. With so many products out on the shelves and so many nutritional guidelines to remember, it can get extremely confusing shopping for healthy groceries. You would think you would be able to to trust packaging, but there are certain nutritional label phrases you should always look out for. You may think just because something says organic means it's good for you, but food companies know how to trick consumers with clever marketing and deceptive terminology. Here are a few to watch for.

Contains Superfoods 

There’s no official definition of the term “superfoods” from the FDA, so anybody can put that on their label. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a food (such as salmon, broccoli or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.” 

Paleo and Keto Friendly 

The problem is that this doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthy, just that it fits the criteria of these diets. Paleo diets can cause an iodine deficiency, and keto diets can cause ketosis along with bad breath and constipation.


The USDA has a definition of “natural” specifically for meat and poultry. But for most foods, “natural” isn’t defined. The definition is left up to the manufacturer. 

Farm Fresh

Can mean whatever you want it to mean. It doesn’t mean a food is fresher than any other food. In fact, it may have nothing to do with freshness at all! 

Naturally Sweetened

Since the FDA hasn’t provided a definition of “natural,” that leaves “naturally sweetened” in a gray area. You might find it used when minimally processed sugars are used such as maple syrup or honey. You might also find it on products using fruit concentrates or sugar substitutes like stevia. It doesn’t mean that a food will be lower in calories.

Made With Whole Grain:

This could mean just a tiny bit of whole grain is present (same thing goes for “Made With Organic Wheat”). Instead, look for the 100% Whole Grain stamp.

No Artificial Flavors 

Don’t be swayed by just this phrase. You’ll still need to figure out is if the food contains other artificial ingredients, such as artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Read the entire ingredient list so you get the full picture of what your food contains.

And if you see ALL these phrases on a food item, be aware that it’ll either kill you or make you live forever!