we’re looking at food labels on this one. I completely appreciate that it can be hard to know what to
eat when you’re at work or in a rush, reaching for the same foods can feel like the easiest and best option.
It’s important to look at the food labels and really understand what they’re telling you. Many can be misleading and can make you believe on first glance
that they’re healthier than they really are.
So, where to begin? Here’s some quick stats:
• 4 calories per gram of carbs
• 4 calories per gram of protein
• 9 calories per gram of fat
These are the average calories needed to burn off carbs, protein and fat… You can see why fat gets a bad rep! (taking double the amount of time)
Let’s start our label journey with everyone’s favourite “problem” word when they’re trying to lose weight: Sugar
Or should I say: Dextrose, maltose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, starch, rice syrup, flavourings, lactase… to name but a few! Any words ending in:
ose, ase or syrup will ALWAYS mean sugars.
Most people can consume between 20-35g of sugar per hour, which is the equivalent to a piece of fruit…
So next time you read a label, see how it matches up to this number.
Next let’s look at: Fats
Saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. The first two aren’t bad for you at all. They’re natural fats and can be used by your body in several ways
(it even says on the packet sometimes how much of your Recommended Daily Allowance it’s meant to be).
Trans fats are the ones you must worry about – they’re made in a lab to specifically make things taste better and last longer.
Great for food companies to have longer lasting, tastier stock… not great for your intestine.
So, what is the recommended daily allowance (RDA)? There’s no easy answer, it’s different for everyone.
You take a unit like Anthony Joshua and compare him to some of the more vertically challenged members of society (short arses like me)
then how could their RDA be the same?
That’s why it’s so important to know your own individual numbers. I can already hear a lot of people complaining about not wanting to obsess,
but is it obsessive to know how much your mortgage is each month?
No. So why is it obsessive to know about a number that keeps you alive?
Getting to know your “ideal” fat intake, protein intake and carb intake is a simple formula, which you’ll have to go to the “Free Help” button above to find out
What affects labels?
I’m not talking about someone tampering with the calorie number, but rather about the food in the packet contained.
The following is a list which can affect the accuracy of a food label:
Cooking time, storage time, freezing, outdated data, temperature…
these are just some of the things that can affect how different the calories of the food inside is, compared to the food label on the outside
(sometimes they’re off by up to 35%).
Per 100ml – WTF? Sometimes the food companies aren’t to blame, other times they’ll just crown their product with a label which “sounds” really good!
Riddle me this, what does:
100ml of pasta look like?
And now 100ml of milk?
What about 100ml of potatoes?
See my point?
Processing the label information against the food you actually have in front of you, and then making a healthy choice isn’t always easy.
BUT, and it’s a big but, the more attention you’re putting into knowing more about food labels and how to count properly, IS half the battle.
Know your numbers and don’t be fooled by excellent, if questionable, advertising.
You can find out more about reading food labels here http://bit.ly/foodlabelsglenn