Are you tired of “Junk Food” with “healthy sounding” labels? What do the labels really mean?
In my personal training and wellness coaching business I have a list of 7 Simple Rules for Healthy Fat Loss. Number 5 is: Never eat anything with an ingredient list.
Clients look at me like I am crazy when they read this, but you may agree with me after you read this article…
0 (zero) grams trans fats- When you see this on a package, you can bet there is probably trans fats in it. It just means that there is less than a gram per serving. Look for the words “No Trans Fats”.
sugar free- This often screams “artificial sweeteners added”. So make sure that you know which ones they are. Artificial sweeteners are worse that real sugar. It also could mean that fruits or fruit juice is what was added.
low carb- Foods that are not normally low carb, like bread or candy, is made to be low carb,the carb is replaced with anything from fiber, artificial sweeteners, to sugar alcohols. All of these ingredients have been known to cause gastric distress.
low fat- This means that it has less than three grams of fat per serving. Most of the time, when fat is removed from a food, something is used to replace that fat to keep it palatable, usually in the form of sugar or refined starches. This is true of other low fat claims like “light” (50% less fat), “fat free” (less than one gram of fat) and reduced fat (25% less fat). These sometimes can be worse than their higher fat counter parts. Also, just because it is lower in fat does not mean it is lower in calories.
all natural- This claim actually means nothing or includes really anything. Manufacturers are allowed to this put on practically any food.
corn fed beef- This label is supposed to make you feel like you are getting tender high quality beef. Do not be fooled. Cattle were never meant to eat corn so, what it really means is that the cattle are pumped with antibiotics! Look for 100% grass fed beef.
USDA organic- Now this one has some clout! While all the time the food industry is attempting to lessen restrictions on what “organic” means, right now it means something. It means no pesticides, and no herbicides, period. The rules what constitutes organic meats and chicken are very strict as well. The animals feed has to be free on chemicals, no hormones or antibiotics can be given to the animal. While it is not guaranteed, these animals are often treated better than their factory farmed counter parts.
free range- This gives the picture of animals frolicking in the hills of the country side. It really has relatively little meaning. These claims are not regulated and it has been reported that “free range” can consist of a little more than a hour in a pen outside or so called “access” to the outside. What ever that means. Look for organic and not free range.
93% fat free- Don’t be fooled by claims like “99% fat-free” soup, “93% fat-free” meat, or “2% fat” milk. They’re based on percent of weight, not percent of calories. So that can of 99% fat-free soup may actually derive 77% of its calories from fat, or more. Ground meat advertised as “93% fat free” gets in fact about 46% of its calories from fat. And 2% fat milk actually has about 34% of total calories from fat; 1% milk has about 23% calories from fat.
Pam and other oil sprays claim that each serving has 0 grams of fat. But the fact is: The only ingredient in the can is oil, which is 100% fat.
So how could manufacturers say this product is free of fat? They’re sneaky. They posted a ridiculously small serving size – .25 grams. That’s 120th of an ounce – or one teensy one-quarter-of-a-second squirt.
There isn’t much of anything, oil or otherwise, in 120th of an ounce, which manufacturers love because the FDA states they can “round down” ingredients that are less than half a gram to 0. Hence, the food label says 0 grams of fat. But if you eat multiple servings – if you coat an entire skillet with oil spray – you’re tallying up multiple calories, all 100% fat.
organic junk food- It’s organic, so it must be healthy, right? Not so much. For an extra 60 cents per box, consumers save 20 calories and 1 gram of fat. They also gain 2 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, and 50 milligrams of sodium, and they lose 6 percent of their daily iron. The point is, even organic junk food is still junk food. Your body processes organic refined flour and powdered cheese the same way it does the conventional kind, so at the end of the day it’s still a high-calorie, low-nutrient letdown.
Real Food should BE Ingredients, Not HAVE Ingredients!