Food companies want to fool you. Using label lingo and vague health claims, they often make their products appear healthier than they really are. These companies aren't technically lying – that would get them into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labels. But thanks to several gaping FDA loopholes, they can get away with plastering all kinds of misleading info on labels. Here's what to watch out for.
Packaged foods and dietary supplement labels are plastered with health claims such as "supports heart health," "promotes healthy joints," or "boosts immunity." As long as companies don't say their products prevent or cure diseases, statements like these are OK with the FDA. However, they often don't mean much. The FDA doesn't verify these claims, so there may be no real science behind them. Companies will also slap health claims on foods if one ingredient has a proven health benefit, but that doesn't mean the finished product does, too.
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