Three explanations why low fat and high fiber don’t necessarily mean health

Beware of being lured by labels boasting ‘low-fat’ and ‘high-fibre’ on food packaging. Often, these claims may not accurately reflect the actual nutritional content.

3 reasons why 'Low-Fat' and 'High-Fibre' don't always mean healthy
3 reasons why 'Low-Fat' and 'High-Fibre' don't always mean healthy

To me, “low-fat” and “high-fibre” are terms commonly printed on food labels to suggest a healthier choice. If a food item is labeled as low in fat and high in fiber, it seems like a wise addition to your cart, promising health benefits. Such foods are expected to offer essential nutrition, promote bodily fitness and well-being, while also potentially reducing the risk of medical issues associated with a high-fat or low-fibre diet. However, it’s important to scrutinize these claims and consider other factors such as overall nutritional balance and ingredient quality before making a final decision.

3 reasons why 'Low-Fat' and 'High-Fibre' don't always mean healthy

Misguided labels

What often goes unnoticed is that many food labels can be misleading. The array of labels on food packaging can easily confuse even the most health-conscious consumers. Moreover, manufacturers sometimes downplay the presence of harmful ingredients, instead emphasizing the ‘low-fat’ and ‘high-fibre’ tags. For instance, a consumer aiming to boost their fibre intake might believe that a cereal labeled as ‘high fibre’ is the solution. While it may indeed offer fibre, what about the potentially high levels of salt and sugar it adds to their daily breakfast bowl?


‘Low-fat’ food labels add another layer of intrigue. For instance, when purchasing a packet of crisps labeled as ‘low-fat,’ a consumer might assume it contains less fat, only to discover that these crisps could have more calories than the standard version of another brand. Similarly, many diet sodas claim to be low in calories, yet they often contain nearly equal or even more calories than the regular version of the drink.

Harmful ingredients

Manufacturers take consumer misguidance to another level when they omit certain ingredients from food labels altogether. In numerous instances, food and beverage regulators have discovered the presence of harmful ingredients in food items, many of which were not listed on the labels. Furthermore, in some cases, the disclosed amounts of such ingredients are significantly lower than the actual quantities present.