Over the years, the eating habits of people have drastically changed. Nowadays, people mostly depend on packaged or processed food, which is not always good for their health. People often fall prey to the marketing tricks of the manufacturing companies and do not read the details of the product before buying it. Whereas, on the other hand, nutritionists, as well as health and food experts across the globe, suggest reading and understand the food labels before buying any processed food. 

People must check some of the added ingredients, including – added salts, sugar, fats in the packaged food, chemical preservatives and unnatural additives and colours. These are ingredients are added to make the food tasty, extending the shelf life and to add texture. These may be harmful to the body as the added ratio is not mentioned on the packet and the consumer can eat more than required or recommended because of the same. 

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Sugar is mentioned using countless names to trick the customers. To avoid accidental consumption of sugar, one must have a look at these sugar names – Beet Sugar, Brown Sugar, Buttered Sugar, Cane Sugar, Caster Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Date Sugar, Golden Sugar, Invert Sugar, Organic Raw Sugar, Evaporated Cane Juice, and Confectioner’s Sugar. Other names used by companies can be –  Other added sugars are barley malt, molasses, cane juice crystals, lactose, corn sweetener, crystalline fructose, malt powder, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, disaccharides, and maltose. Sometimes manufacturing companies add sugar as well as sugar syrups to meet the demand for sugar in the item.

What items should be definitely checked before buying an item: 

1.) One must carefully check the ‘allergic content’ like peanuts, milk powder or gluten content. 

2.) Date of manufacturing, best before date or use-by date. 

3.) Amount per serving and total calories obtained from one serving.

4.) Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Mineral and Sodium content in the item.

5.) Sugar and sugar substitutes.

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Know about the most common ‘claims’ by the companies: 

1.) “Natural”: This claim does not mean that the product is 100 percent natural. This also means that natural product like fruits has been somewhere used. 

2.) “Zero trans fat”: This claim suggests that there is “less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving”.

3.) “Multigrain”: This may sound healthy but many times it means that more than one grain is added to the product. 

4.) “No added sugar”: This may mean that a sugar substitute may be added to the product.

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