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Food Claims and How to Fix it

Some commonly used nutrient content claims, and what each actually means!

Food Fraud: Low-Fat Yogurt

Too often this nutritional superstar — rich in protein and calcium — contains shocking amounts of added sugar. Some brands add 30 or more grams of fructose, sucrose, or other sweeteners Compare plain to fruited yogurts to see the difference between naturally-occurring milk sugar and added sugar listed on the nutrition facts panel.

Food Fix: Six ounces should be 90-130 calories and under 20 grams of sugar. Avoid sugary "fruit on the bottom," or blend sweetened yogurt with plain, nonfat yogurt.

 

Food Fraud: Multigrain

When you see "multigrain" or "seven grain" on bread, pasta, or waffles, flip the package over and check the nutrition label. Even with more than one type of grain, the product could be made largely from refined grains — such as white flour — which have been stripped of fiber and many nutrients.

Food Fix: Look for "100% whole grain" (oats, wheat) as the first ingredient. Or choose the brand with more fiber.

 

Food Fraud: Light Olive Oil

Anything labeled "light" is enticing when you're watching your weight. But often the food is not what you expect. Light olive oil, for instance, has the same calorie and fat content as other types -- it's just lighter in color and taste.

Food Fix: Some light foods do provide significant calorie savings. Compare the labels in the store.

 

Food Fraud: 2% Milk

Two percent milk sounds healthier than "whole" milk. But it still has more than half the saturated fat of whole milk. Here's what's in a cup of milk:

Whole Milk (3.25%) = 150 cal., 8g fat, 5g sat. fat Reduced-fat (2%) = 130 cal., 5g fat, 3g sat. fat Skim (nonfat) = 80 cal., 0g fat, 0g sat. fat

Food Fix: If you like whole milk, blend it with 2% for a while, then 1%, then skim, until you get used to the taste of nonfat milk.

 

Food Fraud: Low-Fat Yogurt

Too often this nutritional superstar — rich in protein and calcium — contains shocking amounts of added sugar. Some brands add 20 or more grams of fructose, sucrose, or other sweeteners. Compare plain to fruited yogurts to see the difference between naturally-occurring milk sugar and added sugar listed on the nutrition facts panel.

Food Fix: Either way, low fat yoghurts are not recommended for Diabetics and children under 12 years of age due to the high sugar content per serving. Six ounces should be 90-130 calories and under 12 grams of sugar. Avoid sugary "fruit on the bottom," or blend sweetened yogurt with plain, nonfat yogurt.

 

- Mrs. Ramya Dhevi

Dietitian and Nutritionist at Healthy Life Clinic

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