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Labels - Beware of the Labels!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I don't know about you, but I am getting sick and tired of the food industry trying to pull fast ones on us. I can remember when the term "Lite" came into being and was unregulated. It was being used for the most ridiculous of descriptions including an oil that was "Lite" in color! Nothing "Lite" about the calories in oil. Fat is fat, you can't get around that.

Anyhow, what got me thinking about that was that I went to the vending machine at work today and bought a small 2 ounce bag of Mr. Nature No Cholesterol Unsalted Trail Mix. It looked harmless enough. Just some nuts and raisins. I flipped over the bag to the nutritional label and saw that it was only 120 calories. It seemed like it was a great snack.

But then.....I went to enter it into my sparkpeople nutritional page and had to manually enter it on my "favorites" list. It was only then, AFTER I had already eaten it, that I noticed "Servings per Container: - TWO" !!! How ridiculous is that??! Who is going to look at this little bag that is only 1/2 way filled up and realize they should only eat half of it? Not me I guess! Why not put the true amount of calories in that small little bag? Why not? I'll tell you why not, because they don't want to admit just how fattening this product truly is.

It brought back to mind the time several years ago when I sat in a Weight Watchers meeting and the leader told us how we are so out of control with portion sizes these days. As an example, she pointed out that if you look on the nutritional label for a pound box of spaghetti or ziti, it indicates 8 servings per box. THAT is ridiculous. Each serving is 200 calories, and when was the last time (or even the first time) that you put a box of spaghetti or ziti in a pot of boiling water and served it to 8 people??? I told her privately after the meeting that I didn't believe she gave a good example. Nobody I know would eat .125 of a box of spaghetti and considers it anything other than a side dish! LOL.

See what I mean? It goes to my point that it is possible for the food industry to stay within the letter of the law but it doesn't mean they still can't trick us into thinking their foods are not high in calories. A box of spaghetti in my house serves 4 not 8 and that means 400 calories per serving, not 200. And you know what? If you have that once a week and allow for the calories, it's not going to hurt your weight loss efforts. You just can't do it every night, that's all.

The next time you make spaghetti, or even better....ziti or penne....just try and measure out 1/8 of the box (cooked weight that is) and see how far that gets you. The serving size on the label indicates .125 of the box. 2 ounces of ziti isn't a lot of pieces of ziti.

So I say to you be careful my's stuff like this that makes us wonder how in the world we didn't lose weight on a particular week when we just knew we had stuck to our program limits.

The more informed we are, the less they can fool us.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is timely, had this discussion the other day in the store. Have you noticed that some so called better for you whole grain stuff, has less fiber and more salt than the regular stuff (crackers, bread whatever) Whiskey Tango...
    We've been buying pasta that has more fiber and protein, find generally a serving doesn't leave you wanting more most of the time. I think its Dreamfield.
    Not too long ago, on impulse bought a pint of chocolate milk and drank the whole thing. Immediate sugar rush, I knew it was for 2, but a sugar rush. It had as much sugar as soda! I'll just plan better and keep on making my own with cocoa powder.

    2866 days ago
    Let's not forget monosodium glutamate or any sodium by-product. Fresher is definately better.
    2867 days ago
    They don't care Lizz. They just want us to buy it. I'm finding myself reading labels more and more and then just putting items back on the shelves. The best way I've found to defeat this is to buy very few things that have labels. Fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats. That eliminates our three biggest enemies...Processed foods, Sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup. You eliminate those three things, nothing but success awaits you.

    2867 days ago
    You go girl! I'm just now getting around to reading some blogs. I agree, they should just put it out there for us. I will say this though. I have adjusted my eating of pasta to what it should be per serving. Anytime I open a new box of something different I always weigh out a 2 oz serving and cook it by itself the first time. Most of it turns into a 5 oz serving after it's cooked. It still isn't much, but....better than the alternative of over eating. The secret is to chew a lot and slowly! LOL!!! Glad you were able to get this off your chest! emoticon emoticon
    2880 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/2/2010 3:36:13 AM
    EXACTLY, Shantra!!!! Who in the world eats 1/3 of a muffin!!!! Certainly not ME!!!
    2890 days ago
    Wow Stevie, great blog! I have a little story about this subject too. We used to have a Big Apple Bagel store downtown here and every week one of our staff would go and buy for anyone who wanted treats. Well. They had this one muffin, it was called a Deep Apple and oh it was SO delicious. I looked at the nutritional info and was pretty impressed.. I believe it was 4 points so around 200 calories and I thought.. well that isn't bad because it is SO good. Uh huh.. until I looked closer and saw that the serving size they were talking about was for ONE THIRD of the muffin. For goodness sake! Who on earth eats ONE THIRD of a muffin???? I mean.. seriously????
    2890 days ago
    You are so right!!!
    2891 days ago
    I just don't buy packaged stuff any more. The whole thing sickens me. If it's not the nutritional information ist's the excessive wrapping that just clogs landfill sites.

    I SO hate supermarkets. They've obliterated the local businesses in my town. And when I go to the market and see a cucumber with a 'condom' on it, I know it's not fresh local stuff but another victim of supermarkets.

    I'm on my favourit rant now. In the UK, all the talk is of charging us for our rubbish but we can't avoid having it. I've even got a sticker on my door that says 'No leaflets, circulars or take-away menus. No-one reads it.

    If you think the information on your packets is bad, you should try buying wine. The supermarket has a big sign saying 'Know your limits' and advising how many units are safe for a man or a woman. Nowhere does it say how many units is in a bottle (but that's probably because they've been increasing the strength over many years).

    There, now look what you started!
    2891 days ago
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