Deceptive Food Label Serving Sizes

Deceptive Food Label Serving Sizes

by Anthony Alayon

As I was walking around the grocery store the other day I saw several food labels that said fat free, sugar free, reduced calories and 97% fat free. While someone may initially think they are making a good choice, they may be wrong!

If you take a further look and really scrutinize the nutrition facts on the back of the label, you will begin to notice that things are not as great as they seem. So now that you understand that more investigation needs to be done with regards to these deceptive labels, I will give you some tips to look out for the next time you go shopping!

Deceptive Food Label #1: Fat Free

The award for the #1 culprit to sabotaging your weight loss goals goes to fat free items. While they may indeed be fat free, the sugar content (and sometimes the sugar alcohol content as well) is through the roof. Items such as cookies are a primary target for people who purchase these foods. They have been deceived by the front of the label and never bother to take a second to rotate the item 180 degrees to see the truth for themselves.

Deceptive Food Label #2: Sugar Free

This definitely was a close second to fat free items. While food labels may say sugar free, the fat content is through the roof as well as the sugar alcohol content in some! Not to mention the saturated fats and hydrogenated oils they put in these foods as well to help preserve them.

The No Sugar, One Gram of Fat Trick

Don’t fall for this one either. While the label may be correct when you look at the back, the serving size is the accomplice. Some serving sizes may be as small as a tablespoon. This means if you use 4 tablespoons you are eating 4 grams of fat. But then again, who eats only 4 tablespoons of something?

Deceptive Food Label #3: Reduced Calories

This marketing tactic has worked well for several years because of its catchy title. But what exactly does “reduced calories” mean? More importantly, where do these calories come from?

When it comes to achieving your weight loss or fitness endeavors, the number of calories should not be as important as the source of the calories. Your main concern should be whether it is high in good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) or bad fats (saturated). Remember that each gram of fat contains 9 calories. So if you eat a serving size with 6 grams that is 54 calories from fats.

Deceptive Food Label #4: 97% Fat Free

Again, just because it says 97% fat free does not mean that you are out of the woods. There are still 3% of fats by weight that the food contains. So there is absolutely no connection between calories and fats.

To further illustrate this point, suppose you were to go to the grocery store and get a slice of ham or any other deli meat. Let’s say the meat contains 60 calories per serving and only 2 grams of fat. That is 18 calories of fat per slice of meat. This comes out to about 30% of the calories coming from fats.

For those who are trying to play devil’s advocate and say: “yeah but the rest of the calories can all be protein”, I have news for them. Let’s analyze this some more. There are 4 calories per gram of protein and carbohydrates. Hypothetically speaking, if the remainder of the deli meat is all protein, that would mean that the other 42 calories come out to be 10.5 (42 divided 4) grams of protein.

So as you can see just a few slices of deli meat can add up to be a lot of extra fat calories in a hurry. The same rules apply for food labels so always be on the lookout and read the nutrition facts thoroughly before making your purchase.

Anthony Alayon

Fat Extinction Expert

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