Here the scoop on food labels. The fact is that they can be misleading. Let's take a jar of macadamia nuts for an example. The food label tells us that there's 22g of fat and 3g of carbohydrates. Okay, sounds like a great snack for a low-carb diet, and it could even pass for a low-fat snack.
Now, let's multiply all those numbers by 7. That's how many servings they think you can get out of that jar. Is that jar going to last you for seven days? Who are they trying to kid? I can eat half a jar a night.
Here's the real facts for that jar of macadamias:
See how those numbers jump? 21 grams of carbs? That's a whole day's worth of carbs for the friends of Dr. Atkins!
|Mauna Loa Macadamias ®|
|Net weight: 6.5 oz|
So what have we learned here? Don't judge the numbers as they appear on the label. Look for the man behind the curtain. Remember to think about how many servings YOU will get out of that jar of nuts. Do the math and you'll see the big picture.
Facts About Food Labeling
Under regulations from the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the food label offers more complete, useful and accurate nutrition information than ever before.
With today's food labels, consumers get:
- Nutrition information about almost every food in the grocery store
- Distinctive, easy-to-read formats that enable consumers to more quickly find the information they need to make healthful food choices
- Information on the amount per serving of saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients of major health concern
- Nutrient reference values, expressed as % Daily Values, that help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet
- Uniform definitions for terms that describe a food's nutrient content--such as "light," "low-fat," and "high-fiber"--to ensure that such terms mean the same for any product on which they appear
- Claims about the relationship between a nutrient or food and a disease or health-related condition, such as calcium and osteoporosis, and fat and cancer. These are helpful for people who are concerned about eating foods that may help keep them healthier longer.
- Standardized serving sizes that make nutritional comparisons of similar products easier
- Declaration of total percentage of juice in juice drinks. This enables consumers to know exactly how much juice is in a product.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administraion