8 Most Deceptive Food Label Terms That Are Fooling You

“Low-Carb” and “Keto”:

These labels can be misleading since the FDA doesn't regulate them. Always check the nutrition facts to understand the actual carbohydrate content and avoid falling for marketing tricks.


According to FDA standards, foods with less than 20 ppm of gluten can be labeled "gluten-free," which may not be entirely safe for those with celiac disease. Always verify ingredient details if you have severe gluten sensitivity.


Products labeled as “light” often undergo heavy processing to reduce calories and fat. This can result in added sugars or artificial ingredients to maintain flavor, so inspect the ingredient list closely.


This label can be deceptive. While it suggests minimal processing and no artificial additives, it doesn’t guarantee the absence of antibiotics or hormones in meat, or truly natural ingredients in other foods.


Though organic foods are grown with limited synthetic chemicals and promote environmental sustainability, this doesn’t automatically make them more nutritious or better quality. Organic foods are not entirely pesticide-free.


To qualify, these products must contain one-third fewer calories than the original version. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they are low in calories compared to other similar items, so comparison is key.

“No High Fructose Corn Syrup”:

This label often means other sweeteners have been used instead. High fructose corn syrup has similar health effects as regular sugar, so keep an eye on total sugar content.

“No Added Sugar”:

This term means no sugar has been added during processing. However, it doesn’t account for naturally occurring sugars or sugar substitutes, so check labels for hidden sources of sweetness.