Drug testing

Food Labels: Fact or Fiction?

How often do you pick up items at the grocery and scan the labels? Do you understand them? Ever wonder if they are really accurate? Many consumers probably glance at them, but based on the current obesity rate today it seems as if people should pay more attention.

Selling food is a big business. Through clever marketing campaigns and tricky labeling, many companies are able to influence your feelings and buying decisions. However, food makers are required to follow guidelines set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Such guidelines include listing health claims and noting the % of daily values per serving.

Health claims link a food or one of its components to a specific disease or health related condition. Classic examples include whole grain cereals advertising that they may lower cholesterol (General Mills) and more recently yogurt products (Yoplait) proclaiming that (3) servings of yogurt a day will help you burn more fat. Fortunately, these claims must be based on solid research. Moreover, only approved health claims may appear on foods that meet the set requirements.

What about daily values? Typically, the label reveals the % of daily value for total fat, saturated fat, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and protein, which is based on consuming 2,000 calories per day. The daily value does make it easy to compare similar foods because the serving size is usually the same. The tricky part lies in discovering two critical pieces of information. First, the amount of calories required per day varies from person to person based on age and activity level. Second, it is necessary to determine if your serving size is smaller or larger than the serving size listed on the food label. Based on this information, consumers can begin to piece their own nutritional puzzle together.

However, be cautious as you can still be fooled by labels. For example, have you ever purchased fat free cooking spray? Many people assume it is fat free. The reality is that the serving size is so small (1/3 second spray or .25 grams) that it is virtually impossible to spray enough to coat a pan without exceeding the serving size by at least threefold. Another red flag may be the fact that there are 557 servings in one 6 ounce can. Suddenly, in a larger serving size, it is no longer fat free. Wow! Is that legal? Yes, simply because in the serving size listed the fat value is negligible. Ironically, the fat free product managed to add fat to your meal.

The bottom line is this: people should eat a balanced diet based on their activity level, age and caloric needs. Understanding all of this information simply serves as a roadmap to directing consumers to make more informed and healthier food choices.

References

Understanding Food Labels

American Dietetic Association

Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS, is a respected author, physical therapist and fitness expert. You can sign-up for his free online newsletter @ http://www.thefitnessedge.cc.

Copyright ? 2005 Brian Schiff

In The News:

Fact: Whale sharks — the largest known fish in the sea and some of the largest creatures on Earth — exist.
One of the last crusader kings had scurvy when he died, a new forensic analysis finds — contradicting old narratives that he died of plague or dysentery.
A Victorian local was surprised when they stumbled across a bizarre-looking creature while walking along a beach in the state’s southeast.
A shocking documentary is shedding new light on just how far the Nazis and Allied soldiers went in an attempt to win World War II — including the use of performance enhancing drugs.
BERLIN (AP) — Scientists in Europe said Tuesday they've successfully transferred a test tube rhino embryo back into a female whose eggs were fertilized in vitro, as part of an effort to save another nearly extinct sub-species of the giant horned mammal.
Plastic pollution seems to have found a new way to creep into the natural landscape.
It’s a blast that may have been more than 70 years in the making.
In extraordinarily salty puddles of water resembling ones you might find on Mars, bacteria can survive getting completely dried out, suggesting that the Red Planet may be more habitable than previously thought, according to a new study.
A new mission will intercept an undiscovered comet en route to Earth's orbit, the first of its kind to observe a pristine interstellar object as it enters the inner solar system.
Saturn's moon Titan has fascinated scientists as it contains lakes that have similar features to those on Earth and is the only other celestial object in the solar system to have surface liquid. In areas of the moon where the liquid has evaporated, dark smears have been spotted, which researchers believe operate in similar fashion to “bathtub rings” — and they might be made of "alien crystals."

Fluoride: A Plot to Dull the American Mind

During the Second World War, the Germans used fluoride as... Read More

Enzymes and Raw Food ? Can You Cheat Time and Stay Young for Longer?

I'm going to be a bit radical here, but know... Read More

3 Important Differences Between White Bread and Whole Wheat

For any kid who grew up eating doughy, thick Wonder... Read More

Enjoy The Holidays Healthfully

How To Have A Healthy ThanksgivingEnd of the year holidays... Read More

The Most Effective Treatments for Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux disease, or GERD, is a common compliant of... Read More

Eating to Gain Mass

This is usually the forgotten element of most mass programs.... Read More

Turning an Addictive Snack into a Complete Meal

The proliferation of fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and vending... Read More

You Dont Have to be Wealthy to Eat Well: The Truth about Your Grocery Budget

Many people complain that organic foods are more costly than... Read More

Antioxidants and Your Health

Get back to the basics - eat fresh at home... Read More

Death, Aging, Rejuvenation (Part 1)

I would like to raise a question: Is Rejuvenation possible... Read More

What You Eat Can Protect Your Skin from the Sun

(ARA) - By now you probably think you've heard all... Read More

Oat Bran Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol

The natural antioxidants in Oat Bran can significantly reduce blood... Read More

Antioxidants - Add a Lean, Muscular Body to the List of Benefits!

I'm sure by now you've heard all about the amazing... Read More

Diet and Eczema

Much controversy and argument surrounds the idea that food may... Read More

Heart Health ? Fish Oils To The Rescue

In a world where heart disorders and diseases are becoming... Read More

Pineapples: The Healing Fruit Of The Tropics (Includes A Recipe For Pina-Banana Orange Smoothie)

For a natural and tasty way to improve your health... Read More

Finding Your Reason Why to be Healthy

The most incredible thing you can do for yourself is... Read More

Copping Out the Positive Effects of Copper

One must always keep in mind that copper is not... Read More

Learn About Food Nutrition Facts

Food nutrition factsFinding food nutrition facts and dietary nutrition used... Read More

16 Quick Tips for Eating at Restaurants or Work

Most of us eat at restaurants for a variety of... Read More

Take Back Your Life 5

In parts 1-4 of this series of articles titled "Take... Read More

Fluoride Damages Childrens Bones, Study Says

White-spotted or yellow splotched teeth may reveal more than needed... Read More

Health and Nutrition

The Health and Nutrition Industry has come about as peoples... Read More

Five Reasons You Should Drink More Water

I know you've heard this many times - "Drink more... Read More

Help Your Heart Grow

I turned into my parents' driveway in Maryland and parked... Read More

commercial lighting lighting for garage Pete's produce ..