5 Things You Need to Know When Reading Junk Food Labels

junk food labels

As health awareness is rising and people are more concerned about what they eat, fast food companies find new ways to sell their product. One of these ways is marking their products as “low-fat” or “sugar-free”. However, not all of these labels are necessarily true.

Here are some things you watch out for when reading junk food labels.


In their attempt to make their food appear healthier, fast food companies can develop fat-free or low-fat products. However, as these taste much worse than their fatty alternatives, food producers often add sugar to give them flavor. This is why these products are loaded with sugar.


Although a gluten-free diet is necessary for people with celiac disease, many other people have jumped on the bandwagon, and this diet is gaining popularity worldwide. That’s why some fast food producers will label their products as “gluten-free”, even if there’s no evidence that they are more nutritional.

Added Sugars

Ingredients on the food label are listed by amount in descending order. So, if sugar is one of the top ingredients, you should probably stay away from that product. However, food manufacturers often don’t use the word “sugar”, but one of the 56 alternatives.


A sign you’ll often find on junk food labels is that a juice or milkshake are “fruit-flavored”. But, just the fact that something tastes like fruit doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Most of these flavors come from artificial chemicals.

Hiding Potentially Bad Ingredients

You might have heard about some controversial ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and decided to avoid them. But, food manufacturers often hide these ingredients by calling them by their technical names. For example, the aforementioned MSG is also called E621 in Europe.


Now that you’re familiar with some common tricks junk food labels use, you should know not to take them for granted. Examine every label carefully and pay attention to what you put in your body.

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