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How food labels can trick us.


Gold Member
You have to be so darned careful reading labels on manufactured foods.

Here is an example from the US: Ever wondered why Tic Tacs are so small?

US Federal labeling law allows any product with less than 0.5g of sugar in a single serving to describe itself as "zero sugar".

Tic Tacs are almost pure sucrose - 97% carbohydrate, but because each individual sweetie weighs less than 0.5g, and one sweetie is supposed to be a single serving, Tic Tac can be sold as a "zero-sugar" product.

It can't be sold in the UK as zero-sugar, but the slogan for years was "Two hours of tic tac freshness in less than two Calories" - delivered by a very slendar model - which implied that it was a "lo-calories breath freshener" - rather than a box of flavoured, coloured sweets with no more or less sugar than polos or wine gums or sherbet lemons.
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Gold Member
These are just some of the names of added sugar found of food labels:

barley malt
corn syrup
ethyl maltol
fruit juice
fruit juice concentrate
golden syrup
high-fructose corn syrup
invert sugar
malt syrup
sorghum syrup


Dukan Ancestor!!
Thanks Atropos - really helpful as usual.

I wanted to add - related but in a different direction - DO READ THE MAIN LABEL and THINK ABOUT IT.

This week I bought Philly Extralight to use in cooking. 4% fat and that all okay for Conso/Stab - BUT later I checked out the Sainsbury's own brand 'Be good to yourself' "cream cheese" and it's got LESS FAT. I have not checked any other ingredients of course which might make it higher in sugar, starch etc..

So the 'Extra light' and any such labels are to be treated with caution as explained above. Another is 'Lean mince' and 'Extra-lean mince' again always check the actual fat content per 100gr - Sainsbury and Tesco don't agree on 'extra-lean' (Sainsbury was leaner last time I looked)


** Chief WITCH **
Labelling is definitely easier in France where they stamp the fat % on the front of things like mince (which ranges from 5% to 20%), cheese, yoghurt, etc.

BUT I did once read something scathing about the so called "0% fat" French yoghurts (in that it's impossible to have NO fat in a yoghurt!)

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