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Calorie Count Blog

5 "Healthy" Foods with Misleading Serving Sizes


By +Carolyn Richardson on Dec 24, 2011 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

Savvy shoppers watching their calorie budgets know that ice cream, pizza, and cookies could push them over their daily limit. But you may be surprised at how foods that have a reputation for being “healthy” pack a surprisingly high amount of calories in a single serving. As you consider how to make better food choices in the New Year, consider the standard serving sizes of these health foods before you take in too much of a good thing.  

Cooking Spray

You’ve heard the advice to stop using oil when cooking and instead use cooking spray. While this is good advice to avoid the 100+ calories you can get in just one tablespoon of many cooking oils, don’t be fooled by the nutritional label that lists no calories and no fat for the aerosol version. Manufacturers get away with doing this by choosing an unrealistic serving size. Some cooking sprays have serving sizes as little as a quarter of a second spray. If you’re like most, your spray will be much longer. Say 2 or 3 seconds. That’s eight to 12 times a serving. An article published by the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) points out that a 6 second spray would have 6 grams of fat. You can always make your own cooking spray for peace of mind. The bonus to this is avoiding the propellant, emulsifier, and anti-foaming agent usually present in cooking sprays.

Soups

CSPI recently blasted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) for not updating serving size rules. A study they conducted about the serving size of soups reveals a serving size that is largely unreasonable when compared to actual soup consumption. A can of soup generally has 2 to 2 ½ servings, however CSPI’s survey results, as revealed to the FDA, show 62% of consumers eat an entire can of soup in one sitting. Multiplying a can of soup’s nutrition facts by 2 could mean consuming over a day’s worth of the recommended intake of sodium. CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson had this to say about their findings, “The FDA should define serving sizes to reflect what consumers actually eat, as the law requires, not what the soup industry pretends that they eat.”

Granola

You’ve been urged to add it to yogurt or eat it like cereal, but either way, granola is far from being a low-calorie food. With serving sizes hovering around ½ to ¾ cup, a typical serving of granola could run around 200 to 250 calories per serving. Added raisins, sugar, and nuts, all contribute to the high amount of calories in this seemingly healthy food. While the fiber from the rolled oats granola contains is desirable, you could just as well eat a bowl of oatmeal with no added sugar, and have a fresh piece of fruit as well for a similar amount of calories.   

Pasta Sauce

Whether you’re ramping up lycopene in your diet, or simply having pasta and salad instead of burgers and fries, be weary of prepared pasta sauces. While tomato sauce with no added salt stands at only 40 calories per ½ cup serving, pasta sauce at the same serving size packs around 100 calories. The added oil and tomato paste help multiply the caloric content. Instead take the tomato sauce with no added salt and add Italian seasonings to it. It won’t be as tangy as the prepared pasta sauces, but you’ll cut calories significantly if you go this route.

Nuts

Before my calorie counting days, I used to pack a bag of trail mix in a sandwich bag and nosh on it throughout the day. Little did I know my nut-loving tendency was adding about 600 calories and over 40 grams of fat, albeit healthy fat, to my diet each day. A typical serving size for nuts such as pecans, cashews, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds is an ounce. That’s about 20 kernels of almonds or about 20 pecan halves. That serving, though small, will cost you about 160 for almonds to almost 200 calories for pecans. Sticking to a half a serving of nuts might be the way to go to keep the calories from adding up.


Your thoughts…

What seemingly healthy foods have you had to limit because of their unrealistic serving sizes?



Comments


I've seen folks consume large amounts of calories because what they are eating is one of the popular healthy foods.  This is a good review of that.

The flap over serving size and product labeling doesn't surprise me but is one of those things that never cease to amaze me.  If I weren't dieting, calorie count per unit would be of only peripheral interest.  The calorie count  per "serving" is of some interest but, being on Atkins, I'm much more interested in net carbs. The labeling on food could be much clearer, but frankly most folks would recognize a gram or an ounce only if it were compared to an elephant.  Unless you have a scale, so the labeling is a pretty inventive aid.  In the low calorie/fat/sodium/food value craze we have now folks are trying to decipher the labels.  I'd prefer "this can of soup makes x cups and contains Y calories, etc".  I believe, unlike CSPI and the nanny government most folks are perfectly capable of figuring out what would be half or 1/4th of the container.

I'd worry about sodium only if I had any evidence that it is affecting my health.  If sodium intake were so deadly, then why do they do saline IV's? 

I've never found CSPI to be a particularly credible source for much of anything.

 



Typically, I look at what mfg says the serving size is, and if it seems reasonable, I'll agree. If it seems excessive to me, I'll limit my intake to half or so. If it seems ridiculously inadequate, then I'll either not eat it, or adjust the rest of the day to maintain correct calories, etc.

I always wondered about the cooking spray, though. Yes, that is deceiving. If 1 second of spray is 0 cals, 0 fat, then 2 or 3 seconds must be 0 cals, 0 fat. Right? Yeah, right. When I've tried to make my own spritzer spray, the little nozzle keeps getting clogged. I've only tried the Pampered Chef pump sprayer. Is there a good one out there that actually works?

Thanks for the article. Unfortunately, common sense usually goes out the window when it comes to food. It's a shame that government must step in yet again. 



Susanhamilton, I've seen a spray set (you get two in the package) at Costco for $20. I haven't purchased it yet, but plan on doing so.

This is a very good article. The pasta sauce portion of it was eye opening for me. I am trying to cut back how much pasta I eat anyway. It seems as though I will benefit twofold because I will also eat less sauce.

Thank you!


A 6 second spray has 6 grams of fat?! Wow there's something I didn't know! When I make a stir fry with two servings I usually spray for 4 or 5 seconds so that must be 30-40 extra cals divided by two, not a lot but interesting!



Also anything "Calorie free" seems to have obscure servings in general, sometimes I drink 2 or 3 Coke Zeros or have 10 splendas in a day, wonder if there are hidden "Calories" in that as well!



Your articles need a printer-friendly version so they can be shared offline



Many spaghetti sauces (I use Hunts Traditional) have 50 or 60 cals for a 1/2 cup. Sure there's lots of sodium, but... just sayin'...



Off topic, but the word is WARY, not weary ("...be weary of prepared pasta sauces). The first is to be on guard or watchful, the other is to be physically or mentally exhausted.  On second thought, perhaps they're interchangeable here.  (~_^)



I spoken to many people over the last several years who have no idea how the food industry uses deceptive marketing to make you think the item is low calorie.  There is no consistency in the serving size and the print so small it's very hard to read.  Most people don't even know that when a item says it has 330 calories for example, it may really have over a 1000 when you do the math of serving size in the package.  If you did a review similar to the one in this article of the items on the shelves at the grocery store, 95% of the items use similar tactics.  Does anyone know of an organized group that is attempting to get the industry to change these practices?  I live in Washington Dc area and would like to get involved to get this problem fixed.



A good reminder about portion size. Check labels some spaghetti sauces are much lower in calories than others. The same is true for cocktail sauce. I notice some of the sugar coated cereals have the same carbs/calories as the "healthier" non-sugar coated cereals. I think the sugar coated ones just have their sugar on the outside.



Original Post by: greener333

I've seen folks consume large amounts of calories because what they are eating is one of the popular healthy foods.  This is a good review of that.

The flap over serving size and product labeling doesn't surprise me but is one of those things that never cease to amaze me.  If I weren't dieting, calorie count per unit would be of only peripheral interest.  The calorie count  per "serving" is of some interest but, being on Atkins, I'm much more interested in net carbs. The labeling on food could be much clearer, but frankly most folks would recognize a gram or an ounce only if it were compared to an elephant.  Unless you have a scale, so the labeling is a pretty inventive aid.  In the low calorie/fat/sodium/food value craze we have now folks are trying to decipher the labels.  I'd prefer "this can of soup makes x cups and contains Y calories, etc".  I believe, unlike CSPI and the nanny government most folks are perfectly capable of figuring out what would be half or 1/4th of the container.

I'd worry about sodium only if I had any evidence that it is affecting my health.  If sodium intake were so deadly, then why do they do saline IV's? 

I've never found CSPI to be a particularly credible source for much of anything.

 


The "nanny" government??? The whole point of this article is to help folks who are being OUTRIGHT deceived by CORPORATIONS. We all need to read labels and YES...you are correct that most can figure out those labels. But if you have NO idea of what a 4 second spray of a ZERO CALORIE oil spray is, what are you going to do? Just guess? And why CSPI is an issue for you, I don't know. They are an extreme point of view, but the food industry corporations are spending billions to keep us under-educated and mis-guided with terms like: natural, whole grain, fat-free, free-range and cage free and on and on.  NO regulations for many of the words being used on labels. But, of course, we all need to have a label that tells us our pasta sauce (or whatever never has and never can have gluten naturally) is gluten free, right? Must be good for us if it has no gluten or cholesterol or trans-fats or whatever, right? Or worse, all the ADDITIVES of (fake) fiber, and vitamins and other supplements now being put into things like yogurt. Even eggs (and hundreds of other products) are getting pumped up with Omega 3 fatty acids so we can feel good about the eggs and granola and (see this article from 2007: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2007-01-01-o mega-3-usat_x.htm ) and other common foods that would never "naturally" contain half of the items added to make it "feel" healthier to us.

So, greener333, I hope you will reflect on the reality: If the giant corporations would not work 24/7 to muddle the truth and make claims that are often just lies and propaganda, then we would not need someone like the "nanny" government or the many other groups (like this one writing this article) that fight for truth in labeling, but I don't see that anytime soon. Without watchful eyes the corporate "fox" left guarding the hen houses of the world" will feast on every hen. 

SO...Thanks for this article. We really need this information as part of the equation to keep us informed.



Even coke tries to tout lower calorie amounts than it contains. I mean, we all know that its a devil for calories, but in GB we have 500ml (0.5 litre) bottles, with a "serving" containing 105 calories- their serving is for 250ml, half the bottle. Yeah, because I drink half a bottle of coke! The true calorie amount is 210, and sugar, instead of the 26.5g for the serving size on the bottle, is 53g. Nearly 60% of the average GDA for sugar.



I always check what a serving size is. Whether it is soup, snack crackers or soda. Not that I drink a lot of soda anymore. I think it is each person's responsibility for themselves to see how much a serving is. Most things in convenient, "single serve" packaging contains two or more servings. To save myself the trouble of eating the whole thing. I separate into the serving sizes and set the rest aside. As for soup I just put it in one serving bowl and one resealable bowl, I put the second in the fridge or freezer.  I feel that if we use our eyeballs and our brains a little you can avoid eating too many servings.

I find that many people are shocked when they see what a serving size is. This could very well be avoided if we actually did the research. Please don't blame the company or the packaging for your overeating. Perhaps you just don't look at the serving size or were not aware that many things have more than one serving contained in it. However, in the end we need to be aware of what we are putting in ourselves. It doesn't take me that long to look at the nutrition panel and see what a serving size is. I imagine, with the proper information, anyone can be as informed about what is going in. Don't be a victim, keep yourself up on any information that is pertinent to your lifestyle.



Susanhamilton -- http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=11318517 this is the sprayer I've had for two years and it only clogged up one. I rinse it with water every time it needs refilling and I only use olive oil.

As to the remarks about prepared pasta sauces and other prepared stuff -- I stay away from "prepared" anything. Get tomatoes, throw in blender with an onion and some garlic and some fresh herbs --- and voila, your pasta sauce is all natural for real. It doesn't take that much longer than opening a can. Plus, you have more than you can eat in a sitting, so use the rest for left-overs or add to your half can of "prepared" soup.  I do that frequently -- even Amy's soups are usually 1/2 can per serving--and that doesn't fill me up, so I add either a carrot or some tomatos or mushrooms to stretch it. You still get some calories and sodium, but you know THAT is really natural.  ....just a thought....



Original Post by: pwood20

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there are 4 calories in a packet of splenda. same for any other sweetener.

1 packet is 1 gram, and the vast majority of the contents are dextrose.



But Pinangel... If they tell you there are NO calories or no fat (many items are fat-free if you do the "one" serving") but you eat ONE more bite or half a second more spraying of the "fat FREE" oil or cookie and BAM...you got fat or calories that you didn't expect. And THAT is exactly what these mega-corporation businesses are doing to keep you from knowing the harm that the products are actually capable of doing. Eat two low fat fig newtons and because it is LEGAL to NOT LIST fat content below .5 grams they can say a serving is FAT FREE????? It is NOT. So how do you justify THAT? They let you eat two and you think there is NO fat. So you then eat two more...what's the harm...and suddenly you are not eating a fat free snack? If you think that WE as consumers can really TRUST that level of deception, then just read labels and go along your merry way. I beg you to rethink. Here's what is on Nabisco's web site and frankly - it's sick that they require you to have internet access in order to drill down to the truth. Lot's of people around the world and in our country have no computers, let alone internet access, let alone the skills to drill down to the truth. They even lie on the fine print on the website: "the FDA , requires that the content be listed in the package’s Nutrition Facts box as "0g". It's not "required" - it's allowed. Go visit the site and you can't even figure out how many pieces are in serving! It's two pieces by the way. But they don't tell you that on the site.  But look at the bottom of that page and read for yourself how convoluted they are in explaining the "facts". 

http://www.nabiscoworld.com/Brands/ProductInformation.aspx?B randKey=newtons&Site=1&Product=4400004713

WE NEED TO QUIT thinking we are safe. We are not. We are being abused by loose regulations and loose language and unethical profit motives. I agree we must take responsibility. But how do we do that if they can outright lie about serving sizes, ingredients, and other vital information needed to make "informed" decisions as consumers. 

Why anyone will trust a corporation to do the right thing is beyond me. They lobby like crazy to make anything and everything increase their bottom lines and will do anything for a dollar. Anything. We as an individual consumer have zero power against the billions they spend lobbying. It took YEARS to get trans fats to be part of the national dialog for healthier diets. Years and years of proof -absolute proof positive - of the dangers associated with trans fats. It's a miracle that we even have any food labels at all. Billions were spent to keep them off.

Sorry for the rant, but to think we are safe by just reading labels is foolish and dangerous and I am so thankful that there are NON-profit organizations fighting back and regulations at work to keep these corporate profiteers under a little bit of control. Without those entities watching our backs, we would still all think smoking was good for our health - which is what the cigarette packs actually said at one point in history. Seriously? Yes...they even had commercials on TV with "doctors" lighting up and touting the benefits of smoking. You think the tobacco companies stopped advertising cigarettes on TV voluntarily? We need balance to keep the game fair. Like it or not, there are times when regulations are a completely necessary BALANCE against the very powerful PROFIT motives of corporations.



Original Post by: LtotheN

Original Post by: pwood20

Your articles need a printer-friendly version so they can be shared offline


there are 4 calories in a packet of splenda. same for any other sweetener.

1 packet is 1 gram, and the vast majority of the contents are dextrose.


Really 4 calories?! I usually eat 5-10 a day so that's about 20-40 calories extra! That doesn't make or break me usually but that's good to know!



I think what allot of people these days don't inderstand t least from what I see, is that just because somethig says "natural" or is considered "healthy" they can eat as much as they want, which is not the case for food, regardless of health status still contains fat, calories, sugars, ect...


OK, I have to disagree with the Pasta Sauce suggestion.  I have recently increased my intake of pasta, largely because the selection of pasta sauces I liked are in the 50-70 calories per half cup range.  I make 2-3 oz of pasta (200-300 calories typical), and a half cup of sauce.  I always count the full sauce amount, but I have noticed that 3 oz of pasta usually leaves quite a bit of unused sauce, maybe as much as half.  So ultimately, making your own sauce vs using a pre-packaged plain tomato sauce will likely not be all that significant where calories are concerned.  I'd spend my time elsewhere.



Original Post by: girndtgirl

Off topic, but the word is WARY, not weary ("...be weary of prepared pasta sauces). The first is to be on guard or watchful, the other is to be physically or mentally exhausted.  On second thought, perhaps they're interchangeable here.  (~_^)


I noticed that too- wondered if it made sense pointing it out! I'm glad you did!



Original Post by: pinangel

I always check what a serving size is. Whether it is soup, snack crackers or soda. Not that I drink a lot of soda anymore. I think it is each person's responsibility for themselves to see how much a serving is. Most things in convenient, "single serve" packaging contains two or more servings. To save myself the trouble of eating the whole thing. I separate into the serving sizes and set the rest aside. As for soup I just put it in one serving bowl and one resealable bowl, I put the second in the fridge or freezer.  I feel that if we use our eyeballs and our brains a little you can avoid eating too many servings.

I find that many people are shocked when they see what a serving size is. This could very well be avoided if we actually did the research. Please don't blame the company or the packaging for your overeating. Perhaps you just don't look at the serving size or were not aware that many things have more than one serving contained in it. However, in the end we need to be aware of what we are putting in ourselves. It doesn't take me that long to look at the nutrition panel and see what a serving size is. I imagine, with the proper information, anyone can be as informed about what is going in. Don't be a victim, keep yourself up on any information that is pertinent to your lifestyle.


I agree! I hate when people are so upset about the serving size of a can of soup. What, do they think a box of cereal is 1 serving as well? Hardly anything you buy is one serving. People are just not doing their homework before eating, then getting upset after the fact.



I never understand people who are opposed to protecting consumers from dishonest and/or dangerous practices by food corporations. Maybe the original poster should read The Jungle and get an honest picture of what our food companeis HAVE done before they were held in check by that "nanny government".  

 



This was a great article. How do they get away with defining a "serving" of cooking spray as a 1/4 of a second?! I wonder how many dieters are piling on fats because they believed the label that said NO Fat and NO calories?

 



i agree with pinangel and mewl kitten.  i am perfectly capable of deciphering the label and determing how much i want to eat.  it  would  be easier if they told me how much was in the container and let me decide how muh i want.  percent of rdu just makes it harder to decipher, but i could figure that out if i really wanted to.  we are responsible for our weight and food related health. i do not want any one to decide that for me.  i am responsible for my weight, although i would like to blame hy mother for passing along  the fat , high cholesterol genes.



You just made my point greener333 when you said this:

...it  would  be easier if they told me how much was in the container and let me decide how muh i want.  percent of rdu just makes it harder to decipher...

They absolutely make it hard to decipher. WHY? THINK! Please think about what YOU just wrote. Why do they make it HARD to decipher? Please understand who the THEY are and WHAT they are doing. Be as responsible as you want to be, but I dare you or anyone to be able to count to a 1/4 second when spraying oil out of a can. Furthermore - IF you could get that tiny amount out - is it a rational amount for cooking anything at all?

greener333, please understand that THEY set that serving size (just like nabisco did with the no fat newtons) because they can then state on the label that is is zero fat. Don't you get this game??? Doesn't it make you angry that we are being deceived, manipulated and lied to so THEY can sucker us into feeling like we are getting less fat and calories if we choose their mislabled products? Be anti-big government all you want to be, but I want a NEUTRAL AND NON-PROFIT MOTIVATED ENTITY keeping the food corps in check. That's all. Just keep them from misbehaving for the almighty dollar. And yes... clear up the labels so even a child can look at a box of cereal and understand what the deal is without needing a calculator and math skills. But it will take REGULATIONS to get the labels cleared - the corporations will never volunteer to do anything that would lower consumption rates. They want us to eat more and spray more so we will return to buy more. THAT is the nature of ALL business models. Sell more stuff and make more money, but it this case the only way to get us to buy in the first place is to lie about the product being sold. 

I don't even have a clue what a 1/4 second would be - does anyone? Is it just the word "one" in the phrase "one thousand one" which in theory takes a full second to say? Seriously - I really want to know if ANYone reading this knows how to count 1/4 of a second.



I could not agree more.  I love granola and try to find lower fat/calorie alternatives to it, which even includes mixing up my own hybrid of Kashi 7 grain puffs (1/4 cup) and Kashi Golean Crunch (1/4 cup) into my fruit and nonfat Greek yogurt.

Nothing bothers me more on the food labels as discovering that the serving size is what tweaks the calories.  For instance, taking the granola for example again, one brand will boast a certain amount of calories, but the serving size is 1/2 cup, while another may have less calories in a full cup.  You really have to read the labels.

Recently my husband picked up Mrs. Budd's chicken pot pies.  They are meant for individual consumption; I cannot imagine anyone would SHARE a 5 inch round pot pie!  I went along with the meal because my day's calorie consumption was on the light side--or I would have NEVER agreed to this for dinner.  In referring to the calories, I was at first pleasantly surprised to see something around 300ish calories--then the reality of the serving size hit me--2 servings per pie.  Really? 

It is exactly the same with canned soup.  During winter I enjoy a full can of Progresso soup as a filling lunch.  I know the entire can contains between 240 and 340 calories depending on the variety--but the fact that it states there is 2 servings per can at half the total is irritating.

You wouldn't pick up an apple and expect to know the calorie content at HALF a serving.  Of course that's different with larger fruits (melons, pineapple, etc.).  Small hand-held fruits would be ridiculously "labeled" as 2 servings per piece.

I think labels should be changed to reflect the average/normal/anticipated actual consumption.



Original Post by: dwel040126488

I never understand people who are opposed to protecting consumers from dishonest and/or dangerous practices by food corporations. Maybe the original poster should read The Jungle and get an honest picture of what our food companeis HAVE done before they were held in check by that "nanny government".  

 


Well then, eat a half chicken leg, or a half burger, or a half order of small fries or a half "individual" serving of something.  Half an apple?  Half an orange?  I find it hard to believe that someone would routinely actually make a can of soup and put half of it away. 

Now, pardon me while I go drink my half cup of tea and eat my half piece of toast.

 



Original Post by: mewlkitten

Original Post by: pinangel

I always check what a serving size is. Whether it is soup, snack crackers or soda. Not that I drink a lot of soda anymore. I think it is each person's responsibility for themselves to see how much a serving is. Most things in convenient, "single serve" packaging contains two or more servings. To save myself the trouble of eating the whole thing. I separate into the serving sizes and set the rest aside. As for soup I just put it in one serving bowl and one resealable bowl, I put the second in the fridge or freezer.  I feel that if we use our eyeballs and our brains a little you can avoid eating too many servings.

I find that many people are shocked when they see what a serving size is. This could very well be avoided if we actually did the research. Please don't blame the company or the packaging for your overeating. Perhaps you just don't look at the serving size or were not aware that many things have more than one serving contained in it. However, in the end we need to be aware of what we are putting in ourselves. It doesn't take me that long to look at the nutrition panel and see what a serving size is. I imagine, with the proper information, anyone can be as informed about what is going in. Don't be a victim, keep yourself up on any information that is pertinent to your lifestyle.


I agree! I hate when people are so upset about the serving size of a can of soup. What, do they think a box of cereal is 1 serving as well? Hardly anything you buy is one serving. People are just not doing their homework before eating, then getting upset after the fact.


SORRY, this is the one I was replying to.



Original Post by: stoprecycling

You just made my point greener333 when you said this:

...it  would  be easier if they told me how much was in the container and let me decide how muh i want.  percent of rdu just makes it harder to decipher...

They absolutely make it hard to decipher. WHY? THINK! Please think about what YOU just wrote. Why do they make it HARD to decipher? Please understand who the THEY are and WHAT they are doing. Be as responsible as you want to be, but I dare you or anyone to be able to count to a 1/4 second when spraying oil out of a can. Furthermore - IF you could get that tiny amount out - is it a rational amount for cooking anything at all?

greener333, please understand that THEY set that serving size (just like nabisco did with the no fat newtons) because they can then state on the label that is is zero fat. Don't you get this game??? Doesn't it make you angry that we are being deceived, manipulated and lied to so THEY can sucker us into feeling like we are getting less fat and calories if we choose their mislabled products? Be anti-big government all you want to be, but I want a NEUTRAL AND NON-PROFIT MOTIVATED ENTITY keeping the food corps in check. That's all. Just keep them from misbehaving for the almighty dollar. And yes... clear up the labels so even a child can look at a box of cereal and understand what the deal is without needing a calculator and math skills. But it will take REGULATIONS to get the labels cleared - the corporations will never volunteer to do anything that would lower consumption rates. They want us to eat more and spray more so we will return to buy more. THAT is the nature of ALL business models. Sell more stuff and make more money, but it this case the only way to get us to buy in the first place is to lie about the product being sold. 

I don't even have a clue what a 1/4 second would be - does anyone? Is it just the word "one" in the phrase "one thousand one" which in theory takes a full second to say? Seriously - I really want to know if ANYone reading this knows how to count 1/4 of a second.


i do not know who "they" are.  Nutrition labels and label content are required and, I believe, appeoved by FDA.  No one is spending billions to hide information from us.  I am responsible for figuring out what is in my food.  The information is out there, I have  to look.  No evil cabal.  If they make a profit, great, it is the American way.I'd like to see better labels, but i can read and do arithmetic.  



You are wrong.  Do more research. The lobby money from the Food Industry is in the TRILLIONS over the past 50 years from the corprations in order to keep us uninformed.  Just go figure out how to count to 1/4 of a second and share that with all of us, will you?

THE THEY is the money behind the corporate interests. And frankly, nowadays, it's so deeply influencing our public (gov.) officials, that now the THEY is getting even more dangerous because we have almost nowhere to turn to be sure that the lies can be stopped.  Not an evil cabal, dear one, just money over ethics.... EVERY time. Money money money.

Profit is great.  I own my own business and have been in business for over 20 years. I love profit. It's what allows me to have a decent roof over my head and a small retirement fund. But the food industries multi-billions used against us to keep us from the truth is ABUSE of power and a very sad, dirty, and unethical use of profits. What amount of being directly lied to do you think should be allowable?

I can't believe I am even involved in this conversation and frankly - I am done. You go "figure" out the deceptive labels on your own. And good luck with the 1/4 sec. spray.



So all y'all are 100% accurate and truthful when sharing information? Food preparation is half science, half art (did you ever "season to taste"? How much did you really use?) The food label is a tool we can use to make BETTER choices, not perfect choices. No conspiracy here. It's just the best you can hope for in a free capitalistic society.



Comment Removed

Original Post by: girndtgirl

Off topic, but the word is WARY, not weary ("...be weary of prepared pasta sauces). The first is to be on guard or watchful, the other is to be physically or mentally exhausted.  On second thought, perhaps they're interchangeable here.  (~_^)


HA! GOOD ONE--Didn't think that anyone else noticed that :P



Fooducate seems to be an outfit that is trying to get the food industry to change. I urge everyone here to subscribe to their emails.  The deception in the food industry is just so depressing to me.  First there was the honey that wasn't really honey, then there was something else that was not what you thought it was, can't recall, does anyone here remember?  It was just in the papers recently.



Original Post by: imia345

Also anything "Calorie free" seems to have obscure servings in general, sometimes I drink 2 or 3 Coke Zeros or have 10 splendas in a day, wonder if there are hidden "Calories" in that as well!


I don't believe in "calorie free", imia345. You're right to question the "calorie free" claims.

Just picking Coke Zero as an example, 1 Can (330ml) has 1 calorie as you can check here (rather insignificant but it still HAS a caloric content). If you drink 3 Cans then you're consuming 3 calories.

Each packet of Splenda has "less than 5 calories, which meets FDA's standards for no-calorie foods" according to this website. Assuming this claim is true then 10 packets a day are close to 50 calories.

I wouldn't worry with these numbers but if one consumes too much then yes, limitation would be necessary. Moderation is key even in regards to these products.



Original Post by: dwel040126488

I never understand people who are opposed to protecting consumers from dishonest and/or dangerous practices by food corporations. Maybe the original poster should read The Jungle and get an honest picture of what our food companeis HAVE done before they were held in check by that "nanny government".  

 


I agree like crazy!



I agree that it's wrong for the FDA to be trying to deceive consumers. You can say it anyway you like but it is still deception. Just like the makeup adds that show this flawless skin (they don't tell you how airbrushed it is). Ok, not quite the same but it's very similar. It's about deception to rake in money from consumers. Yes, we are responsible for our own health and should read labels etc. However, why does our sleuthing have to be so intricate?

Why can't they just tell us the TRUTH, so then when we read the labels we can see what we are really getting in a standard serving. Honestly who really has the time to pick up every single label you want to buy and analyze it? I sure don't have time for that! I work fulltime, volunteer and I'm at uni, plus I have a baby of a boyfriend and I sure don't have time to read every single label.

 I can't imagine that those with kids would have the time to read everything, especially when shopping for the whole family. Or those with illnesses that need them to be extra careful regarding what they eat. I agree, the best way to get around this is make everything from scratch...however that can be a challenge if you are not particularly creative in the kitchen and your vegetarian meatloaf comes out like tomato tasting bran...lol



It's not the FDA doing the dirty deed. It's the corporations who buy off our legislators who then pass regulations that allow for these misleading labels. The FDA has no control over the labels other then to require their usage. They use whatever is passed via the legislators. The FDA only acts as a regulatory entity to shut down or levee a fine on operations in violation of Food And Drug Administrations book of rules - rules they can't change and didn't write. They have very little influence overall.

Again...THEY, the FDA, are trying to herd the cats, but they didn't let the cats out of the bags. THAT was lobby money and our money hungry members of Congress who fear losing their jobs (or contracts for future lobbying jobs themselves when they leave DC) if they don't bow to the big corporate interests. 

It's a miracle that we have any labels at all.



Gotta agree with stoprecycling our congress responds only to the lobbiests & those who have the money to buy them. The labels are confusing for a reason....to confuse consumers. Once you learn how to read the labels they aren't so bad. You can't look at the % of a daily diet (vitamin info) but the calories grams of fat, salt , carbs & protein are good. JUST make sure you know what constitutes a serving.


"The Jungle" was written in 1906.  It was a great read the summer after my senior year in high school (1965).  I don't believe it accurately describes the food industry of 1965 and certainly doesn't describe the food industry in 2011. I believe it was a polemic when written and didn't exactly describe the industry at the time it was written,but was much closer to reality 105 years ago.

I get all the information I want from food labels.  The portion size takes a bit of deciphering.  If I have a question I can use easy research tools such as the internet.  When I look at the regulatory framework, I don't see a lot of evidence that the billions (or is it trillions) spent by evil, nefarious corporations have done much good.  However, those making the claim are more than welcome to provide specific evidence of such corruption.  You know, names, dates, places, amounts kind of stuff.  Heck, you should be able to put people in jail.  I look forward to the hard evidence of the claims being published here, or elsewhere.

I've also lobbied for causes I feel strongly about.  I've commented in the regulation development and written my congress critters.  A couple of times, I've even managed to affect a new regulation.

 

 



Look at the millions our congress critters are worth....not possible on their salary. Glad you are involved.


Original Post by: ritchiep

OK, I have to disagree with the Pasta Sauce suggestion.  I have recently increased my intake of pasta, largely because the selection of pasta sauces I liked are in the 50-70 calories per half cup range.  I make 2-3 oz of pasta (200-300 calories typical), and a half cup of sauce.  I always count the full sauce amount, but I have noticed that 3 oz of pasta usually leaves quite a bit of unused sauce, maybe as much as half.  So ultimately, making your own sauce vs using a pre-packaged plain tomato sauce will likely not be all that significant where calories are concerned.  I'd spend my time elsewhere.


I don't think the calories are what would make this worth it.  However, I think there would be a benefit in the lowered sodium.  I'm constantly going over on my sodium limit when I use a lot of packaged and canned goods.



Comment Removed

Original Post by: sophiaw23

I think what allot of people these days don't inderstand t least from what I see, is that just because somethig says "natural" or is considered "healthy" they can eat as much as they want, which is not the case for food, regardless of health status still contains fat, calories, sugars, ect...

yeah I used to eat huge amounts of sweet n low packets or stevia powder before I realized they were mostly sugar!

now I use liquid sweet n low. I believe it actually has 0 calories. it's more convenient because you don't have to worry about throwing the packets away- but it doesn't work for foods you want to keep dry.



^ my above post quoted the wrong comment. idk how to get it to quote the right one.



Original Post by: thecarlens

Original Post by: dwel040126488

I never understand people who are opposed to protecting consumers from dishonest and/or dangerous practices by food corporations. Maybe the original poster should read The Jungle and get an honest picture of what our food companeis HAVE done before they were held in check by that "nanny government".  

 


Well then, eat a half chicken leg, or a half burger, or a half order of small fries or a half "individual" serving of something.  Half an apple?  Half an orange?  I find it hard to believe that someone would routinely actually make a can of soup and put half of it away. 

Now, pardon me while I go drink my half cup of tea and eat my half piece of toast.

 


actually, i eat progressive soup many times for lunch. because i count calories, the first thing i did was read the label. because of the higher calories, but mostly the high sodium, i only eat 1/2 a can - one surving - and it is very satisfying. i have NEVER eaten a whole can.

after several months of cutting calories, i find i'm satisfied with less. that is the real problem.... a whole can of soup, for a woman, is a LOT!!! we're so used to feeling "full" when we're done eating, instead of satisfied. if we would all learn to eat less, we'd struggle less. i'm winning the battle. finally. and i'm thankful for smaller - and better - serving sizes.

half a burger is better, too. if my husband or daughter won't split a meal with me, i'm learning to ask for the to-go box right away and then i immediately put the other half in the box....out of sight, out of mind. i used to eat the whole thing and feel stuffed and miserable.

and, by the way, while i LOVE sarcasm, you should note that a full piece of toast is a serving.



Original Post by: judeka_b

Original Post by: thecarlens

Original Post by: dwel040126488

I never understand people who are opposed to protecting consumers from dishonest and/or dangerous practices by food corporations. Maybe the original poster should read The Jungle and get an honest picture of what our food companeis HAVE done before they were held in check by that "nanny government".  

 


Well then, eat a half chicken leg, or a half burger, or a half order of small fries or a half "individual" serving of something.  Half an apple?  Half an orange?  I find it hard to believe that someone would routinely actually make a can of soup and put half of it away. 

Now, pardon me while I go drink my half cup of tea and eat my half piece of toast.

 


actually, i eat progressive soup many times for lunch. because i count calories, the first thing i did was read the label. because of the higher calories, but mostly the high sodium, i only eat 1/2 a can - one surving - and it is very satisfying. i have NEVER eaten a whole can.

after several months of cutting calories, i find i'm satisfied with less. that is the real problem.... a whole can of soup, for a woman, is a LOT!!! we're so used to feeling "full" when we're done eating, instead of satisfied. if we would all learn to eat less, we'd struggle less. i'm winning the battle. finally. and i'm thankful for smaller - and better - serving sizes.

half a burger is better, too. if my husband or daughter won't split a meal with me, i'm learning to ask for the to-go box right away and then i immediately put the other half in the box....out of sight, out of mind. i used to eat the whole thing and feel stuffed and miserable.

and, by the way, while i LOVE sarcasm, you should note that a full piece of toast is a serving.


You tell 'em



i am not sure about spritzers since i do not use them.  however, we pour a half tsp or so on a paper towel and swipe the pan with it.  it thinly coats the pan and we do not have to buy the spray or make our own in a spritzer bottle.  it seems to work well and you can control the serving size better.



great idea, clynettehaynes! do you use olive oil? i will try that! thanks!



yes..we usually use olive oil.  love it.

 



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