Reading labels is an essential part of any weight loss program. Being able to clearly identify key components of a food item is vital to the success of your diet. You have to be careful when you read the label and be extremely thorough. Labels are placed on food items because it is required by law. Marketers are forced to display this information but it does not keep them being tricky about it.
Lets take a look at a sample label.
See here we have the Serving Size of the food item. First we have the Serving Size which is 1 oz. or 28 grams. Then there is the Servings Per Container which is 16. This is where you have to be careful. On small items like a bag of chips or cookies, people tend to skip this part of the label and go straight to the Amount Per Serving Section. This where you will kill yourself. Most small items have a Servings per container with more then 1. They usually have 2 or even 2 1/2 servings per container. Not being aware of this, people do not correctly calcuate the Nutrition Facts for that item. When they think they are eating 200 calories in reality they are eating 400 or even 500 calories.
Next thing to look at is Calories and Calories from fat. Most people only look at the total calories. Here we see that this item has 190 calories. Not alot of calories. But here is the killer. Calories from fat is a whopping 150. Making this item over 80% fat. A big misconception of people who read labels is, there is not a lot of saturated fat becasue the lablel says only 2grams of saturated fat. Wrong, there is another 15 grams of fat. Where does this come from? My best guess is that about another 10 -13 grams of fat are trans fat which is the fat responsible for obesisty.
Next we see the % Daily Value. This is recommended daily allowance set by the FDA. This item has a total of 25% fat inregards to your recommened dailiy aloowance. That means that is you eat 4 of these food items, your fat intake would have to be cut off for the rest of the day.
Another item we should look @ is Total Carboydrates. This is the evil demon among low-carb dieters. The FDA's recommended daily allowance for carb intake is around 330 grams per day. There are good carbs and bad carbs. The bad carbs would be considered Sugars. In this case there is only 1g of sugar and 3 g of Dietary Fiber. In regards to carb intake this is a good product.
Then there is the protein. The more the better. Remember this fact. 1 gram of protein and carbs are the equvalient to 4 calories. 1 gram of fat is the equivalent to 9 calories. I hope this article has cleared up some issues in regards to reading labels. Any educated dieter is a successful dieter.
Senior Health & Fitness Advisor
Joe has over 15 years of health & fitness experience. He has helped numerous individuals meet their fitness goals.
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This is a perfect example of how on-line weight loss "experts" can confuse and harm the American consumer...The Obesity Debate?
During a dinner conversation with a friend, the topic of laziness was brought up. From there, we some how got around to the topic of obesity. He said to me, "A great example of how bad laziness can be is obesity."
"Excuse me," I coughed out (almost chocking on the last bite).
"You know, obese people don't do anything. They are fat because they are lazy," my friend said as if from a position of authority. This was going to be a long dinner I could tell.
It turns out, my friend read an article posted on the net that started with a statement similar to my friend's words that almost made me choke. Unfortunately, he didn't remember the author's name but the title was Fitness and Exercise -- I haven't found it...yet.
What blows my mind is how easily people believe what is written on a website by someone calling himself an expert! The real experts need to start making noise!
Laziness does not cause obesity. If that were so, obesity would be the norm and not considered a problem. I recently found a wonderful definition of obesity...it covers all the possibilities in one clear sentence:
The etiology of obesity is complex, determined by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors -Andrea Baessler, from her recent article in Diabetes, Jan, 2005.
There has never been a debate about what causes obesity. We have always known that obesity is multifactorial in etiology. The "real" debate topics are which environmental factors and which genes increase the risk or incidence of obesity. The rest of the article reviews recent work around two genetic links to obesity.
Delphine Eberle's work (Diabetes, Aug, 2004), with the sterol regulatory element binding protein transcription factor, found that the two isoforms are linked to the "plasma leptin concentrations in American obese families."
His group hypothesized, "...genetic variations of the SREB-1 gene could be associated with obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia."
Interestingly, SREB-1 gene polymorphisms were found among obese cohorts when compared to nonobese cohorts. This means they are on to something and possibly not far from marking the SREB-1 gene as a clear link to obesity (1).
Ghrelin Receptor Gene (GHSR)
The importance of ghrelin in the central regulation of feeding has been demonstrated in animals and humans. Ghrelin increases appetite and food intake in normal subjects and patients with decreased appetite, such as those suffering from cancer cachexia. Recent evidence suggests that obesity is associated with an impairment of the entire ghrelin system (2).
Besides its biological function, the ghrelin receptor gene is located in a quantitative trait locus or QTL strongly linked to six phenotypes of obesity (1).
This is a second strong genetic association to obesity. Both groups will soon have conclusive evidence to support their arguments for SREB-1 and GHSR genetic links to obesity.
As far as I can tell, laziness wasn't mentioned once. How many wonderful people avoid treatment because they actually believe it's their own fault?
Educate at all costs.
Michael A. Smith, M.D.
Additional Information is available at The Weight Loss Professional
Close Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Lesson #14
You know what is so amazing? We get to keep learning how to improve ourselves. Each day brings a new opportunity for us to practice unconditional love, especially of ourselves. Loving your body is demonstrating unconditional love. Think what your body does for you each day.
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