Do you know that there are many hidden secrets about the nutrition industry? You might not be aware of them, but your health and even your life could be under threat. You see, the foods that you eat are usually part of an entire food system. This means that all of the different businesses within the food system—from processors and distributors to retailers and restaurants—are interdependent. From their individual perspectives, they might all seem like honest, trustworthy businesses with a genuine desire to provide their customers with high-quality products and services.
However, as it turns out, when these different businesses work together they create an ideal environment for unscrupulous individuals to exploit with impunity. These dirty little secrets about the nutrition industry have led many people to question its integrity—and this is a problem because trust is absolutely essential if we’re going to get more people eating healthier versions of our favorite foods in order to reduce chronic disease risk.
Nutrition Labeling Scams
The food industry is hoping that you don’t notice one of the most common and widespread scams in food marketing. In order to assist regulatory bodies in assessing the nutritional quality of their products, many companies voluntarily supply the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with their ingredients.
The FDA then analyzes this ingredient data to determine if any substances have been added to the food that were not listed on the label. This is called “importer declaration.” The FDA has no mechanism to identify and stop importers who knowingly or unknowingly provide false information. This is where the scam starts. Because there are no laws that require importers to label their products, it’s entirely legal for importers to keep their ingredients confidential. This means that companies can label their products as having any or no ingredients, or label them in such a way that they don’t actually say what’s in them at all. What’s more, not only can they do this to their own products, but they can also use importer declaration to import foods made by other companies—allowing them to keep their ingredients a secret. And this is exactly what many companies do.
Misleading Vitamin and Mineral Names
It is possible for a large amount of a nutrient to be present in a food, but the food does not contain the type of nutrients that are necessary for good health. For example, vitamin A and vitamin E are antioxidants, which help maintain good health and prevent disease. A single serving of carrots provides over 500% of the recommended daily value for beta-carotene, a nutrient found in carrots that is a source of vitamin A. On the other hand, carrots do not contain vitamin E, a nutrient necessary for healthy eyes, skin, liver, and immune system. Now, carrots can be a great snack or part of a healthy meal, but if you eat them as the only source of vitamin A for your body, you’re missing out on many other nutrients that are important for good health.
Most packaged foods don’t have to disclose ingredients
When you buy pre-packaged foods, you may be surprised to find out that you are not required to know exactly what is in them. This is because the only ingredient listed on food packaging is the name of the food product itself and not its ingredients. For example, if you buy an apple, the ingredients listed on the package may only include the name of the apple and nothing else. When looking at the ingredients on a food packaging, you can see the amount of some ingredients, but you often cannot see the amount of others. For example, if you see corn syrup listed as an ingredient for a snack food like chips, you know that it is in a significant amount, but you have no idea how much of it is in the product.
Research Isn’t Always Registered or Published Correctly
Many research studies are conducted to find out what foods or nutrients are good for health. However, these research studies are not always registered with the relevant bodies or published correctly. For example, some research studies are conducted to find out what foods people like the most, while others are conducted to find out what foods people like least. This can influence the amount of funding that a researcher receives, and it can even influence how many people are included in the study, which can skew the results.
The Nutrition Industry Has a Culture of Sanitized Language and Tricks
When you look at the nutrition labels on processed foods, you’ll often see a number of words that sound healthy, but you may not know what they actually mean. This is because the industry has tried to sanitize the language that appears on nutrition labels in order to make them less obvious to consumers. For example, when you see the word “whole” on a food label, you might think that the product contains all natural ingredients, but in reality, it may contain only small amounts of some of the ingredients that are listed on the label as “whole” and an abundance of others that are not included at all.
In order to truly reap the rewards of the nutrition industry, we must first acknowledge its dirty little secrets. We can’t accept this status quo—where consumers are mislead, where companies are allowed to keep secrets about their ingredients, and where research is being conducted that is biased or may even be inaccurate. If we each take a few moments to learn about the dirty little secrets about the nutrition industry, we can create a dynamic food system that helps to get more people eating healthier versions of their favorite foods.
Disclaimer: Body Health Outlet nor the author of this blog own the product reviewed above. Nor should the contents of this blog be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician before making changes in your diet plan. This blog should be used for informational purposes only.