Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What's In A (Food Product) Name??

A walk through the grocery store aisles can be enough to push anyone over the edge.  Thousands of products, catchy names, and too good to be true nutrition claims are everywhere.  Have you ever taken the time to really think about what's in the packages and correlate it with the product names?  Talk about "things that make you go hmmm..."!!  Hopefully this post will leave you with something to think about and put a smile on your face at the same time!  Here are some of the products that make me laugh (click on the product names to get more information):

Post Great Grains Cereal
First off - using Great and Grains in the same title is laughable at best.  Second 13 grams of sugar in 3/4 cup makes this cereal anything but GREAT!!

Fruity Pebbles
Okay, it's a kid's cereal - but it implies that there might be fruit involved...  In its defense it has less sugar (11 grams) per serving than "Great Grains".  But sorry - there is not a lick of fruit to be found.

Fruit Snacks, Fruit Roll-ups, etc.
It's just more misleading 'fruit' labels here!  There might be a little vitamin C (very little), but no fruit to speak of!  Not exactly a 'healthy snack'.

Healthy Choice Products
This brand name implies that its products are good for you and they've got frozen meals, shelf-stable meals, soups, and frozen treats...  Just remember, if it lives in a package on the shelf it is most likely anything but a "healthy choice".

Smart Ones (Weight Watchers) Products
Much like the "Healthy Choice" line Smart Ones offers Breakfast, Entree, Dessert and Snack options all available in the freezer section for your enjoyment...  But really - how "smart" is it to eat French toast, mini cheeseburgers, and brownie sundaes every day??? 

Lean Cuisine
When it comes to ingredient labels - lean definitely does NOT apply here.  The Grilled Chicken Caesar has over 50 ingredients!  And one look at the list leaves one wondering what part of this meal is going to make you 'lean'...

Hamburger Helper
FYI - There is NO hamburger that needs this kind of "help"...

SoBe Life Water
It's a fairly safe bet that this water and life really have nothing to do with each other.  Since when does 'water' require so many ingredients???

Smart Balance Products
Mmmm...buttery spread (uh, margarine...), soybean oil, canola oil, and artificial flavors - oh, my!  There's nothing very smart or balanced about this stuff!

Kashi Go Lean
The website and labels tout - a good source of protein (9-13 grams per serving).  That's great if you like soy and are all about suboptimal protein quality.  The company's tagline is "7 Whole Grains on a Mission" -unfortunately lean is definitely not the mission's goal. 

Quaker Life Cereal
Because calling a cereal Death is just unacceptable...  And how can anyone argue 18 grams of whole grains per serving?

Nutri-Grain Bars
A healthy breakfast or snack option here?  Any time the words Nutri- (implying nutrition) and Grain are paired together you've got to wonder...  And the fruit in these little gems, um...high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor does not = fruit.

The name would imply that there's bacon in these things...  Not so much!  Defatted soy flour and partially hydrogenated soybean oil anyone?

Smart Start Cereal
A very smart beginning if your pancreas needs a workout and you enjoy kicking off the day with some high fructose corn syrup, BHT, and a bunch of other funky stuff.

Slim-Fast Products
"Just have a shake for breakfast, another for lunch, and then a sensible dinner."  Yep, that's a surefire plan and definitely sustainable...

Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop
It's 94% Fat Free and only 100 calories per serving - how can it not be "smart"???

Fat Free ANYTHING!!!
There's fat free cheese, cookies, peanut butter, salad dressing, margarine, ice cream and tons of other products.  Most have the same number of calories and more SUGAR than original versions of the same products.  And you've really got to wonder about 'fat free fat' (margarine, salad dressings, peanut butter...).

Polaner All Fruit Spread
The first ingredient of the strawberry flavor is Juice Concentrate (Pear and Grape), then there's strawberries, some fruit pectin, natural flavor and citric acid.  If it was truly "All Fruit" wouldn't the only ingredient need to be strawberries??

This list is by no means comprehensive - there's so many head scratching labels out there (Wheat Thins, Powerade, etc.)!!  What are some that you've seen? 

Tell us your favorites in the comments...


  1. Non-fat frozen yogurt - it's FULL of sugar and there is no fat to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, either. Once I stopped at a fro-yo place as a treat for my grade-school aged child after a visit to the orthodontist. While we were waiting in line I took a look at the nutrition brochure, and the sugar content shocked me. After I calculated how many teaspoons of sugars various serving sizes contained (approx 4 g CHO = 1 tsp), I insisted he could only have the smallest size and in a cup, not a cone (mini), and without toppings. I made a resolve to not go to these places anymore.

    I'm quite sure the women who were in line ahead of us (who appeared to have just left an exercise class) who were all ordering fro-yo smoothies and fruit parfaits had no idea how much sugar they were ingesting (12-15 teaspoons!) in their "virtuous" and "healthy" non-fat snacks.

  2. I love this post. I laughed so hard. It's sad that it's all true... but still so funny!

  3. Phillips cream cheese: Pasteurized nonfat milk, and milk fat...

    Why take the fat out of the milk just to add it back in?

  4. I have a great photo of fruit squeeze packs that list "all-natural", "cotton candy flavor", "made in china" on the label and bears a patriotic American name and logo. Niiiice.

  5. Yashashree Food Product is fast growing dairy milk products manufacturing company in Pune area. All products are Frozen Milk Dairy Products and can be utilize up to 90 days. We are processing around 2500 Lit of Milk every day.