IS IT REALLY FAT-FREE?
MAYBE – MAYBE NOT!
Does that food you are eating really contain “O” trans fatty acids?
Is that drink you are drinking really sugar-free?
Have you read about what I call the FDA’s “0” Rule?
According to the FDA Food Guidance Compliance Regulatory Information, Guidance Documents, Food Labeling, Nutrition if a packaged food item contains 0.49 grams of fat or less per serving the label can legally state that the food contains “0” trans fat.
What does that mean to you? The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends that no more than 1 percent of your total daily calories be trans fat. If you consume 2,000 calories a day, that works out to 2 grams of trans fat or less, or about 20 calories.
However, let’s suppose that the fat-free butter or margarine that you are using today does actually contain 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving, and the serving size equals one tablespoon. Now, spread one tablespoon of the stuff on your toast and add another tablespoon full to the eggs you are cooking. Use another tablespoon full while you are preparing dinner; then put two more tablespoons full on your popcorn while watching TV and by bedtime you will already have consumed 2.45 grams of trans fatty acids!
Foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils – especially partially hydrogenated soybean oil – are most likely to contain trans fats even if the label states “0” Trans Fats. Partially hydrogenated oils are bad for you; they lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol.
Also according to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) Food Labeling Guidelines, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, the nutritional label may claim the food to have “O” grams of sugar.
How much sugar is too much? Well, according to the American Heart Association, an average adult woman should not consume more than 14.3 grams of sugar daily (about one tablespoon), and the average man should limit their intake of sugar to 28.3 grams (approximately 2 tablespoons).
The FDA also has similar rules regarding calories (less than 5 calories per serving = 0; less than 5 grams of total fat = 0, and less than 5mg of sodium or 5 grams of sugar = 0. Less than 5 grams of saturated fats also = 0.