Ever wonder how healthy your diet is? Do you eat clean but still carry extra pounds? If so, take a closer look at food labels. Many so-called “healthy” foods are actually junk food in disguise. You might be eating a lot of sugar and trans fats without even realizing it. Manufactures use labels as a marketing tool, making claims that are far from the truth. When it comes to food, misinformation and misunderstandings abound. Over the years, thousands of cases have been filed against big food manufacturers like Heinz and Nestle for misleading people by wrongly labeling products. They often do this even when the food is packed with chemicals and processed ingredients. The bottom line is that you can’t trust health claims on food packaging. A good example is the phrase “all natural.” Foods labeled “all natural” may be injected with sodium or contain preservatives. Some are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, and other “natural” ingredients that are anything but healthy. Don’t forget about multigrain bread and crackers. Most times, these products are no healthier than their refined counterparts. They actually have caramel coloring to trick you into believing that they’re made with whole grains. Unless the label says “100% whole wheat,” stay away from it. Other examples are fat free and sugar free foods. Fruit juice, cereals, flavored yogurt, and other so-called healthy foods may not have added sugar, but they still contain natural sugars, maltodextrin, or high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, sugar free foods are typically high in fat. Those labeled as fat free are rich in sugar. Some of the most common misleading words and phrases used on food labels include “cholesterol free,” “no sugar added,” “immunity blend,” “free range,” “light,” “lightly sweetened,” made with real fruit,” and “100% natural.” The best thing you can do is to read food labels carefully. If sugar, white flour, or hydrogenated oils are listed among the first ingredients, move on. This will ensure you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck.