How Food Names Fool You & How They’re Keeping You Fat

This is a guest post from Mentor Palokaj about how food product names can fool you and aim to maintain your unhealthy lifestyle.

I’ll let Mentor take over from here…

Salad vs Pasta

Researchers at the University of South Carolina found that dieters are often mislead by food product names. Cafeterias for example choose the term ‘salad’ over ‘pasta’ as it is associated with healthy food. They do so even though the products they sell are exactly the same, having no health benefits whatsoever. The example of salads is not the only occurrence of this behavior. Terms like ‘smoothies’ replacing the old ‘milkshake’ suggesting a healthier content, or sugary soda drinks advertised as ‘flavored water’. So when ordering your lunch, keep in mind that the title says nothing of the content.

Diet Coke

Diet sodas, be it ‘light’ or ‘zero’ are advertised as very healthy to their sugary counterparts. For this reason dieters often switch from the sugar variants to the synthetic sweetener containing beverages. What many people don’t know is that the commonly used sweeteners such as Aspartame, Acesulfame-K and Sucralose are such variable chemicals that they often work counterproductive. Aspartame and Acesulfame-K can disturb bodily function in so many ways that the recorded effects range from cancer development in mice to weight gain in human subjects. Sucralose is even more fascinating because of its high fructose content, which is one of the reasons of why sugar kills the body. Fructose has a taste 2.5 times sweeter than sugar, but because it is processed in the liver it contributes not the least bit saturated. In fruits this is of no significant effect since they also contain fibers, in sodas and the like however this makes for an increased appetite for sweet beverages.

Low fat foods

Fat is good, this is something people continuously misinterpret. It is quite astonishing how the general population will hold on to a myth, like for example the false idea that alcohol kills brain cells. Another one of those inaccurate assumptions is that fat is a bad thing. The body needs fat to think straight, every single cell has a membrane around it based exclusively on fats. The brain consists out of fat for about 60%, it thus stands to reason that you need fat in order to function properly. In addition to the fact that the body needs fat, many people believe that eating fat will make you fat. Again a wrong assumption. In a study where participants were fed only fat, protein or carbohydrates for a week the only group that gained weight was the one eating carbohydrates. The fat and protein groups both lost weight (though the protein lost a bit more). The only detrimental thing is the combination of fats and carbohydrates.

So what to focus on when dieting?

Make sure you have a protein or fat based diet as based on the research mentioned in the last paragraph. Plan out your diet and read labels as opposed to focusing on product names. Names can be deceiving, labels only marginally so.

About the author:

Mentor Palokaj is a life sciences student in the Netherlands with a passion for health and fitness, an avid follower of the Paleo diet and is a self proclaimed body hacker (and thus guinea pig). He blogs on



  1. It’s so true! Most of the population is completely unaware of he problems with low-fat and diet “foods”.

    The bottom line is that it’s not food – it’s chemicals. And at the end of the day, it would be healthier to eat more sugar and more calories from regular food than to poison yourslef with man-made food substitutes.

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