Posted on 05/3/2016
Hi, I’m Rene Ficek, registered dietitian nutritionist. Reading and understanding nutrition claims, doesn’t require a degree in nutrition, but it does require you to look beyond those fancy claims on the front of food packaging.
The first misleading term that we see quite often is “natural.” “Natural” is not a word regulated by the FDA, and food manufacturers use it to claim that the items in their product were a natural food source. That does not mean that natural foods are low in salt, low in fat or even low in sugar. “Natural” does equate to healthy.
The next term we have is “made with real fruit,” or “made with real fruit juice.” Often times you’ll see this on kid’s fruit snacks, and that does not mean that those fruit snacks are healthy, it does not mean that they are made without high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors or colorings. So you’ll want to look deeper into that and make sure that those fruit snacks do not contain any of those artificial flavors, colorings or ingredients.
The next term that we have is “no trans fat.” We would assume that “no trans fat” means “no trans fat,” however, food producers are allowed to put half a gram per serving into their items, which means that there is trans fat in their products, they are just able to hide it a little bit better. So what you want to look for on that nutritional label, or rather the ingredient label, is the word “hydrogenated.” Hydrogenated means trans fat.
So look a little closer, and I hope some of these tips help separate fact from fiction.
And as always, if you’re looking more healthy eating tips and articles, please feel free to check out the official Seattle Sutton blog! Or, if you’re looking for a healthy meal plan that’s made from the freshest ingredients and tastes delicious, learn more about the Seattle Sutton menus, and let us help you get started on your weight loss journey today!