I actually had a big discussion about this last night in my apartment as one of my roommates was fairly convinced that a box of cereals she just bought, because labeled as “naturally made” were also healthy.
That’s when I jumped in and said: “Stop right there, “natural” is a word with such a broad meaning that food makers now use it to ingenerate in consumers the belief that what their selling is also healthy, but that might not be the case.” A long discussion followed (which I’m not gonna report here) until we looked at the ingredients list on the box and well, that was the end of the controversy.
Why? Because the “all natural” cereals contained the following ingredients: “Yellow corn meal with added corn bran, Unshulphured molasses, Whole oat flour, Expeller pressed high oleic oil (canola and/or sunflower), Salt, Cinnamon, Natural Flavour, Baking soda, [...].”
I’m not questioning that the aforementioned ingredients are all natural but if you believe, like me, that ultra-processed foods are not “that healthy”, well there you go, you can do the math. I mean that “Expeller pressed high oleic oil” sounds a but shady to me.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the manufacturer is claiming that the cereals are healthy, but by labeling them as natural, it does make them sound as they are in some way “made according to nature” and/or “hearty” and/or “good”; that was at least my impression (and also my roommates one).