Food Label Tips

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

sugar free

Food Label Tips

Here are some points to clarify common misconceptions about food labels.

1.  Sugar-free doesn’t mean carb-free.

Compare the total carbohydrate content of a sugar-free food with that of a standard product.

If there’s a big difference in the carb content of the two foods, you may want to buy the sugar-free food.

If there’s a little difference in the carb content of the two foods, choose according to taste and/or price.

2.  “No-sugar-added” foods don’t have any sugar added during processing or packaging and don’t contain high-sugar ingredients, but they’re not sugar-free.

Check the label carefully.

These foods may still be high in carbs.

3.  Fat-free foods can be higher in carbs than their regular-fat counterparts and may have almost as many calories.

Fat-free cookies are a perfect example.

Fat-free isn’t necessarily a better choice.

Read your labels carefully.

4.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I had a friend who told me she used a can of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray daily.

When I proceeded to have a mild coronary, she was puzzled, because, as she protested, the packaging claims the product has 0 calories and 0 fat.

Remember our talk about serving sizes?

It’s true that per serving the product contains no calories and no fat, but the serving size indicated on the side of the can is “1 spray”.

The truth is each serving could have as much as a 9th of a calorie or a 9th of a gram of fat, and the manufacturers would still be able to claim 0 content.

Per serving this seems like nothing, but who uses just 1 spray?

All in all, the can actually contains 900 calories and 90 grams of fat!

Marketing people can be devious, so read the label.

The ingredients list for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray includes several different oils, which is your tip-off that the 0 calories-0 fat claim is totally false.

Be careful and stay informed.

5.  Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance.

If something is at the very end of the list, there’s not very much of it in the food.

Along with having some basic label-reading skills, it’s important to have some familiarity with all the terms and phrases are assigned by the FDA and branded all over food packaging.

Want to know the difference between “low fat” and “less fat”?

Let me shed some light.

ClaimFat-free     Requirement:  Less than 0.5 g fat per serving, with no added fat or oil.

ClaimLow fat     Requirement:  3 g fat or less per serving.

ClaimLess fat     Requirement:  25% less fat than the regular-fat product.

ClaimSaturated fat-free     Requirement:  Less than 0.5 g saturated fat and 0.5 g trans-fatty acids per serving.

ClaimCholesterol-free     Requirement:  Less than 2 mg cholesterol per serving and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving.

ClaimLow cholesterol     Requirement:  20 mg or less cholesterol per serving and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving.

ClaimReduced calorie     Requirement:  At least 25% less calories per serving than the regular-calorie product.

ClaimLow calorie     Requirement:  40 calories or less per serving.

ClaimExtra lean     Requirement:  Less than 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, and 95 mg cholesterol per 100 g serving of meat, poultry, or seafood.

ClaimLean     Requirement:  Less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, and 95 mg cholesterol per 100 g serving of meat, poultry, or seafood.

ClaimLight (fat)     Requirement:  50% or less of the fat than in the regular-fat food.

ClaimLight (calories)     Requirement:  1/3 fewer calories than the regular-calorie food.

ClaimHigh-fiber     Requirement:  5 g or more fiber per serving.

ClaimSugar-free     Requirement:  Less than 0.5 g sugar per serving.

ClaimSodium-free, or salt-free     Requirement:  Less than 5 mg sodium per serving.

ClaimLow sodium     Requirement:  140 mg or less per serving.

ClaimVery low sodium     Requirement:  35 mg or less per serving.

ClaimHealthy     Requirement:  Low in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and contains at least 10% of the recommended daily values for vitamins A, C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber per serving.

Claim“High,” “Rich in” or “Excellent Source”     Requirement:  20% or more of the recommended daily values for a given nutrient per serving.

Claim“Less,” “Fewer,” or “Reduced”     Requirement:  At least 20% less calories or other nutrient per serving than the regular food.

Claim“Low,” “Little,” “Few,” or “Low Source of”     Requirement:  An amount so insignificant it allows frequent consumption of the food without exceeding the recommended daily values.  This claim can only be made if it applies to all similar foods on the market.

Claim“Good Source of,” “More,” or “Added”     Requirement:  Provides 10% more of the recommended daily value of any given nutrient than the comparison food.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Winning by Losing


Dick and Lenay

email: – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here –


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