Food SCAMS: Dr. Chauncey Crandall Warns of Fat-Free Scam
When you are confronted with two packages of identical foods in the supermarket and one says “fat-free” and the other does not, which do you choose? Like most people, you probably reach for the item that says
“fat-free.” Don’t do it –in many cases, you’re about to fall for a food scam, warns renowned heart physician and cardiologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall. “When people became concerned about eating healthy, food manufacturers caught on in a big way. Suddenly, everything was ‘fat free,’ because they think the food is healthier, but in most cases, it’s not,” says Dr. Crandall. According to Dr. Crandall, packaged and processed foods that are labeled fat-free fall into the same category as those labeled “reduced fat,” “sugar-free,” or “healthy” –they all fall under a category known as the “health halo.” “This is a term food industry marketers no well. By labeling foods that denote they are somewhat healthy, this connotes they are also healthy, even though there may not be a bit of scientific evidence,” he notes. According to Dr. Crandall, these fat free foods are anything but healthy because of the following reasons:
- Manufacturers can add extra salt to make up for the flavor lost by reducing fat.
- When fats are removed, extra amounts of white flour and sugar often take their place, and these refined carbohydrates can promote heart disease.
- They may contain more artificial ingredients and chemicals to compensate for the loss of flavor due to the removed fat.
- Despite their fat-free labels, most of these foods contain the same amount of calories than the original version
- People tend to eat more of these foods than they ordinarily would because they are under the mis-impression that they are healthy.
Instead of falling for the fat-free food labeling scam, consumers are much better off buying whole foods, like organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and skipping processed and packaged foods altogether, Dr. Crandall noted. “These packaged foods are engineered for the convenience of the food industry, not to benefit the consumer. Stick with foods that are grown naturally, and you’ll be healthier for it,” he added.