Fattening Food Math


A recent article in the LA Times lamented that calorie and nutrition information listed on products is sometimes incorrect. I find errors all the time, especially on products selling as supposed health food. This is extremely frustrating, but there is only one way to defend yourself: Don’t trust any nutrition information that seems too good to be true.

Keep in mind:

  1. Especially at restaurants, it is very easy for the chef to add more oil, sugar, etc. than the recipe calls for. It’s tempting, too, as this insures great taste.

  2. Companies only send a few food items to the Nutrition Lab for calorie and nutrient evaluation. Even Healthy Choice was caught sending different (healthier) versions of their pizza to the Nutrition Lab. The test pizzas had less cheese than the ones you find in stores.

  3. By law, a food company can give you MORE quantity than the label states, but not less. For example, I used to buy the Trader Joe’s croissants (yes, I indulge) and found they weighed 40% more than the label stated. That means the calories, fat, etc. are all 40% more also. In my case, that worked out to 300 extra calories worth of white flour and fat that I hadn’t accounted for!

Your weight is always a good judge of whether you are eating hidden calories. No matter what the label says, your love handles know the true math.

Have a good week,


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