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Don't Fall for Faux Claims

If you think that certain phrases on the labels of foods mean they're healthy choices, think again. Get down with the lingo before buying something that looks like it's a boon to your health. Don't think it's all good if you see the words "all natural" - after all, saturated fat is "natural;" that doesn't mean it's good for you. Many "all-natural" foods still can be high in fat, sugar and sodium, so don't be fooled.

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Foods labeled "cholesterol-free" are pulling a fast one on you, too. Many are high in saturated fat, and cholesterol only comes from animal sources (meat , eggs, seafood and dairy). Fat-free doesn't mean calorie-free. Eating a low-fat diet is a smart idea, but eating foods simply because they're labeled "fat-free" can be a diet pitfall. High-calorie, sugary sodas are fat-free, as are many candies.
Check calories instead of relying on fat content only. And when it comes to trans fats, avoid them at all costs, but check the fine print if you see a product labeled "trans fat-free."

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Look at the ingredients to see what the trans fats have been replaced with - and whether it contains up to .5 grams of trans fats, which is allowed. If you spot an oil in the list that's partially hydrogenated, then that means there are still trans fats present. Disregard the number of grains listed on a product - the most healthy ones are whole grains. Simply remember that if a product is low in a "bad" ingredient, like fat, sugar or salt, then manufacturers have probably replaced the lost flavor with something else...and it's your responsibility to find out what it is.