Food Labelling Tricks

Food manufacturing companies spend millions of dollars researching consumer behaviour in order to develop tactics to make you to buy more of their products.

Sun Rice's brown rice is "cholesterol free" and "gluten free".

Be careful of tricks that food manufacturers use to entice you to think that their products have certain health benefits.

In the above photo, Sun Rice has “cholesterol free” and “gluten free” printed on the front of its brown rice packages, which basically is stating the obvious. Foods from plants do not contain cholesterol (all foods from animals contain some cholesterol) while gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats, not rice.

Other tricks food manufacturers use include:

  • “Light” or “lite” may sound healthy, but it may not necessarily mean low-calorie or even low-fat. It may just be light in colour, taste or texture (for example, it may mean the olive oil doesn’t taste too strong or the chips are lightly salted).
  • “No flavours added” doesn’t mean no MSG as it is a flavour enhancer, not a flavour.
  • Reduced-fat does not necessarily mean low-fat as one brand’s reduced-fat could still have more fat than another brand’s regular. The best way to be sure is to compare the nutrition panels of both products.


Andrew is the owner and principal trainer of Health Jigsaw. He is a highly sought-after trainer and has been a personal trainer since 1997. Andrew has previously worked in a five-star luxury resort, large and small fitness centres and an exclusive personal training studio.

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