Diet & Plans
Diet & Plans
Reducing Body Fat
Food Labeling Guide
Written by Diet Bites
Explanation of Food Labels
What do certain words or phrases on food nutrition labels mean? How can they assist with better health & weight loss results?
Certain words, phrases and descriptions found on food labels can assist in better nutrition as well as in losing weight. The following are common terms found on food labels.
Labeled as 'Free'
Defines foods containing less than 0.5 grams (g) of fat per serving. May reference saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars and calories.
Label States 'Low'
Food can be consumed in a large amount without exceeding DV for the nutrient. May reference total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories.
When the Label Reads 'Lean'
Used to describe fat content of product. Must contain less than 10 grams of fat, less that 4 grams of saturated fat and less that 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving, per 100 grams.
Extra Lean Definition
Used to describe fat content of product. Must contain less than 5 grams of fat, less that 2 grams of saturated fat and less that 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving, per 100 grams.
What Does 'High' Mean?
Used to describe nutrients. Must contain 20 percent or more of the Daily Value of recommended nutrients.
Defining 'Good Source'
Used to describe nutrients. Must contain 10 percent to 19 percent or more of the Daily Value requirements.
The Term 'Light' is Frequently Used on Products
When this term is used, the product must contain one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the reference food.
Let's examine and compare products that are considered low in fat to their regular peers.
We must keep in mind that foods which are naturally low in fat content will reflect a low caloric content. Foods that are higher in dietary fat will mirror a larger gap in caloric values when compared to their low fat or non-fat versions of the product.
For example, turkey is naturally lean and low in fat content. Three ounces of 85% lean and 15% fat pan broiled turkey contains 219 calories and 14.83 dietary fat grams. Three ounces of 93% lean and 7% fat pan broiled turkey contains 181 calories and 9.86 dietary fat grams. The difference in caloric values equals 38 calories; the dietary fat gram difference equals 4.97 fat grams. Although calorie values are not vast, there is a significant decrease in the number of dietary fat grams - more than a 1/3 decrease.
Reduced Fat Compared to Reduced Fat
If we examine sour cream in various states we will find the following nutritional facts and data:
Regular sour cream contains 23 calories per Tablespoon and 2.37 fat grams. One cup contains 444 calories and 45.38 fat grams.
Reduced fat sour cream contains 20 calories per Tablespoon and 1.80 fat grams. One cup contains 327 calories and 29.04 fat grams.
Light sour cream contains 17 calories per Tablespoon and 1.27 fat grams. One cup contains 317 calories and 24.38 fat grams.
Fat Free sour cream contains 9 calories per Tablespoon and 0 fat grams. One cup contains 170 calories and 0 fat grams.
The conclusion is sour cream is not a food that is naturally low in dietary fat thus limiting it in our daily diet or finding methods for decreasing fat content can assist with weight loss results.
The defining dietary difference is that regular sour cream contains almost three times the caloric content of fat free or non fat sour cream. While regular sour cream contain 2.37 fat grams, the non fat variety contains zero calories.
Tips for Reducing Fat Intake With Regular Products
So what can you do if you're trying to lose weight but can't stand the flavor and texture of reduced fat, light and non fat versions of your favorite foods? There are several ways to approach your dilemma.
Sometimes Less Equals More in the Area of Health Benefits
Try using half the amount which will be close and at times equal less calories than the fat free version.
Shop for different brands and you may find a surprising caloric content difference. For example, I am a hominy lover as well as a label reader. By examining the labels of hominy while shopping at the market I discovered that one brand of hominy contained 120 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Another contained 100 calories while yet another contained only 60 calories per 1/2 cup serving. I found that the hominy that contained fewer calories was also processed in a very professional, consistent manner with the liquid in the can remaining clear and the hominy remaining whole - not a gluttonous wad resting in cloudy liquid. By the way, the brand name that I prefer is Bush's Hominy.
The point is, by doing label research which requires the minimal of time - you can save calories while purchasing a better, more consistent product. Don't let those flashy, colorful and cute product labels fool you or deter you from making a healthier, wiser choice that will better-fit into your diet plan
Middle Ground Over No OR Reduced Fat & Regular
If you find that you don't like the flavor of fat-free versions of a particular product, then go to the middle and opt for the 2% product or the reduced-fat product version over the fat-free version.
By taking time to research and read product labels you take control over the foods that you want to put into your diet plan. Making the healthier choices can render impressive weight loss results.