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Quote: “In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”


The food labels are misleading us into thinking that what you see is what you eat!



If the food label says FAT FREE is it?


The food labels are misleading us into thinking that what you see is what you eat!

However, this simply just is not the case.  We have enough obstacles with healthy eating and living without the food labels misleading us into thinking all we read is all we eat.  We do not need the obvious to be so not obvious when we are trying to wrestle this healthy living approach.  The food companies fund a lot of the FDA, which in turn allows them for legal ways to slither like a snake around these laws.  For example, just because it says fat free does not mean it is fat free in fact it could be 100% fat, yes that is right it could be labeled in big print on the front of a container/box “Fat Free” and be 100% fat.  For example, take cooking spray that says fat free or calorie free on the label, it says, zero calories per serving or zero calories from fat.  Well most of these use canola oil, vegetable oil, etc. Which is all fat.


The FDA says if there is less than a .5 grams of fat in a serving it can be labeled fat free.  Well here is where the deception really gets a lot bigger.  The food company can call a serving anything they would like such as teaspoon or 1 chip.  The can of fat free cooking spray is equal to 1/10 of a gram a spray or two.  Which equals .1 in a serving, well under the .5 FDA regulation standards.  They also can get away with percentages so if something is 95% fat free such as dairy or meat it can be 95% fat.  2% milk can be labeled just that it is suggesting that 2% of milk is getting its calories from just 2% of fat and another whopping 98% from other sources.  This is where they can also base their info on total volume, so if something is 98% fat free that indicates that 2% of a serving would be fat.


If a food has 25% less calories than similar products it can be labeled “reduced calorie”.  If a food has less fat than other high fat foods we can call it, “REDUCED FAT”.  Low calorie, the old serving trick again, less than 40 calories in a serving “LOW CALORIE” Calorie Free, a food with less than 5.1 calories per serving it can be called “CALORIE FREE”.  This is a real DECEPTIVE one with liquids, drink just 2 ounces of a 16 ounce product, how common is that?  Watch for butter substitutes with this one!  Reduced sugar, says 25% less than others similar can be called “REDUCED SUGAR”.  My favorite is “SUGAR FREE”  this is where they can use substitutes such as high fructose corn syrup (which is even worse than sugar contributing to many health detriments 2 fold compared to sugar alone, it is a chemical substitute) sugar alcohols (sorbitol, malitol, glycerol) these sugar alcohols contain just half the amount of sugar impacting the body and the FDA does not even require these to be listed at ALL! 

Bottom line when reading food labels be careful, read the serving size amount and look first hand at the ingredients.  If it does not say 100% whole wheat and says unbleached whole-wheat flour or enriched wheat flour it is garbage, high fructose corn syrup, yes garbage.  If a serving is so small that you would probably have 10-20 of them well calculate the numbers because chances are it will add up to a lot more than the big FAT FREE on the front says.


By: J. D. Reber M.S. & B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT


Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!

Personal training in Lenox, MA