‘All Natural’ Health Foods or Not?
People who prefer to eat “100% Natural” or all-natural health foods may not be aware that most of the food products in supermarkets labeled such are not actually true to their word. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to claim “100% Natural” if food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. However, some “natural” food products actually contain processed sweeteners, flavors, colors, additives and preservatives which are produced in laboratories.
Granola bars are particularly notorious for being promoted as a health food with natural ingredients like fruits and nuts. However, some brands may contain high-fructose corn syrup and other processed sweeteners such as fructose, corn syrup, and invert sugar. Others contain artificial flavors and added fibers like cellulose which comes from nontoxic cotton or wood pulp.
Many packaged yogurts contain artificial flavors and sweeteners that mimic fruit flavors like those of blueberries. People who want real, natural yogurt must choose organic products and read labels to watch for artificial ingredients.
Make sure to buy organic cheese instead of cheese substitutes like non-dairy or soy “cheese”. These may contain ca processed carbohydrate known as carrageenan which can cause stomach trouble. Soy usually comes from genetically modified crops and are hardly all-natural.
Buy raw honey from a farmer’s market instead of supermarkets which sell processed honey products. Ice cream products that claim to be natural may contain thickeners (modified starches), sweeteners (corn syrup) and artificial flavors. Even breakfast cereals labeled “all natural” may contain fibers from genetically modified crops and artificial sweeteners.
Finally, many beverages claiming to have natural ingredients like tea, flavored waters or sports drinks may contain artificial sweeteners and flavorings , so be sure to read labels carefully.
Miller, T. 9 All-Natural Foods That Aren’t. Prevention.