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Nutrition Labels Aimed to Dupe Consumers—And How to Tell What You're Really Eating

When a sugary cereal like Count Chocula appears to be a healthy choice, you know something has gone terribly wrong with nutrition labels.

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The common theme here is that nutrition labels do not tell the full story about a food’s nutrition. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. A low-calorie chocolate bar is not the answer to all of your fiber needs, and a fortified cereal is not an excuse for skipping out on fruits and vegetables.

When it comes down to it, the bottom line is the same as ever: opt for a wide variety of whole foods when possible. While it might be fun to eat some junk now and again, don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s a health food—even if the label claims it is.

Jill Richardson is the founder of the blog La Vida Locavore and a member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board. She is the author of "Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It."

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