When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and,"when appropriate", backed by scientific evidence, according to the The Federal Trade Commission.
However, the big food companies are still misleading us on a daily basis. Here are a few examples:
Skinny Pop: A serving of Complex Carbohydrates is any where from 80-120 calories. Average piece of bread is 100 calories.
The average serving of Popcorn is 120 calories for 3 cups. The Company does not lie, just deceives us by implying their popcorn is some how lower calorie. Yes, it is true: 39 Calories per cup. However, a serving of popcorn is 3 cups/120 calories. Breaking a serving size into 3 is misleading and confusing.
Artificial Sugars and Sugar Alcohols cause Insulin levels to spike because they are 100's of times sweeter than sugar. This causes increased hunger. Plus, insulin is a hormone that can cause weight gain. Yet, it is legal for companies to state "no artificial sugars" when they use sugar alcohols (more on this subject below).
"Super Foods" is just a hyperbole. See my recent blog post Here "Food Are Not Super Or Miraculous, Food Is Food."
Diet Frozen Dinners: See my recent blog post Here " Frozen "Cuisines" And The Journey They Make Before You Buy Them" (or by the time you consume them).
I purchased some "Bai Antioxidant Infused Tanzania Lemon Super Tea". Sounds so healthy, right? It tasted sooooo sweet! I thought, how can this not have artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols in it?????
Commercial clearly states: "No Artificial Sweeteners". Listen to this commercial Here.
Erythritol: This sugar alcohol has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States since 2001. Sugar alcohols can have a laxative* effect in some people. Sugar alcohols can be several times sweeter than sugar. They have less calories than sugar. It is not considered an artificial sweetener, yet still have the adverse side effects of artificial sweeteners (plus*). REALLY????
Stevia Leaf Extract: This is categorized as a novel sweetener. Stevia sweeteners are 200-350 times sweeter than sugar, which means only a very small amount is needed to match the sweetness of sugar. Stevia leaf extract is the primary sweeteners found in brand names like Enliten®, Pure Via®, SPLENDA Naturals Stevia Sweetener® and Truvia®. However, Stevia extract can also spike insulin levels and possibly cause weight gain. Stevia is also not considered an artificial sweetener. REALLY????
Here is a chart I found on the Mayo Clinic website:
Artificial sweeteners Sugar alcohols Novel sweeteners Natural sweeteners
(Sunett, Sweet One) Erythritol Stevia extracts
(Pure Via, Truvia) Agave nectar
(Equal, NutraSweet) Hydrogenated
starch hydrolysate Tagatose
(Naturlose) Date sugar
Neotame Isomalt Trehalose Fruit juice concentrate
Sweet'N Low) Lactitol Honey
Sucralose (Splenda) Maltitol Maple syrup
Take away? If it is not real sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup etc., then why are we not calling a spade a spade? Sugar is Sugar. Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame ( Equal or Nutrasweet) have no calories. Yet, they can still wreak havoc with insulin levels and cause Hyper-insulinemia (too much insulin in the blood, that can cause weight gain). Sugar alcohols contain between 2-3 calories per gram vs. sugar has 4 calories per gram. However, they are still much sweeter than sugar. Again spiking insulin levels, hunger and possibly weight.
Whatever you call them: Sugar alcohols, Artificial Sweeteners etc. Writing "No Artificial sugars" on a label, or stating that on a television advertisement is at minimum confusing. The FDA does not consider: Sugar Alcohols or Novel Sugars as Artificial Sweeteners.
Whether the FDA decides to call sugar alcohols or novel sugars artificial sweeteners or not. Both are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, which may lead to weight gain. This is despite, whether they have less calories (sugar alcohols) or they have zero calories (artificial sweeteners).
Hey, did you miss my last webinar on Genes Matter: Eat According To Your Genes. Find out more about personalized nutrition, the link to the webinar is HERE
I offer a FREE Discovery Call to help you and I determine if we are a good fit to work together. We can do meetings via Skype or phone. Set up your FREE Discovery Call HERE! Hope to see you on the other side.