10 ‘Healthy’ Products That Nutritionists Call ‘Scams’

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The claims on the front of food packaging don't always match up with what is inside.

You might think foods with words like “SuperGrains,” “Good Thins” and “Green Delight” in their names would be relatively healthy.

But sometimes the claims on the front of food packaging don’t match up with the ingredients listed on the back. Case in point: The 10 Worst Food and Supplement Scams of 2016.

Released this week, the list is compiled by nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI, a nonprofit consumer watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C. It calls attention to what CSPI considers “big food and supplement labeling scams” of the year.

CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer explains:

“Too many companies rely on pretty pictures and appealing buzzwords to fool people into thinking that their foods or supplements are healthier than they really are.”

For example, a granola product from the Quaker Oats Co. called Quaker Real Medleys SuperGrains Blueberry Pecan made CSPI’s list. The nonprofit says the product contains “more sugar and oil than pecans, and more cornstarch than quinoa or blueberries.”

Similarly, Nutella made the list because, despite being described on its label as a “hazelnut spread with cocoa,” CSPI notes it contains more sugar and palm oil than hazelnuts and cocoa.

All six foods that made the 2016 list are:

  • Brookside Dark Chocolate Berry Medley Flavors Crunchy Clusters
  • Nabisco Good Thins
  • Nutella spread
  • Ocean Spray Greek Yogurt Covered Craisins Dried Cranberries
  • Oscar Mayer Natural Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Quaker Real Medleys SuperGrains Blueberry Pecan

Two beverages made the list this year:

  • Simply Mixed Berry Juice Drink
  • Suja Green Delight smoothie

Two supplements also made CSPI’s list this year:

  • M Drive (a series of products collectively described on its website as “premium men’s health and vitality supplements”)
  • Vitafusion MultiVites (a gummy product described on its website and label as a “complete multivitamin”)

The CSPI notes, though, that none of the products on its list are in a particular order. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order.

For more potentially disappointing food facts, check out “How They Make Fast Food Look So Good.”

What do you make of this news? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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