Wait?…. Spray avocado oil is 0 calories, but regular avocado oil is 120 calories? What is going on?
Understanding what you eat is essential to making healthy choices. From vitamins and minerals to added sugars, there are many nutrients and ingredients that go into our food – some of which deserve special attention when it comes to nutrition. But how do we know if the foods we’re eating contain these specific nutrients? By taking the time to learn how to read nutrition labels! So whether you’re looking for an answer on sugar content in cereals or moderate protein, understanding how to read a nutrition label can provide invaluable information towards achieving your dietary, health, and weight loss goals. Here are a few factors we address in our weight loss programs when it comes to nutrition.
1. Evaluate the Front of the Packaging
First, we would like you to evaluate the front of the product. Here there may be misleading claims such as “all-natural,” “no sugar added,” “enriched,” “keto,” etc. These are alarmingly misleading and should be taken with a grain of salt. Because the terms “natural,” “all-natural,” or “100% natural” do not carry a standard definition from both the FDA and USDA, food marketers can use the terms as they deem fit. “No Sugar Added” also does not mean it is a low-sugar product, as there may be high amounts of naturally occurring sugars. “Enriched and Fortified” are also misleading as this implies they strip the micronutrients out of the product and reintroduce them to seem “healthier.” They may do this to help improve the texture or appearance of a product to meet their consumer’s needs.
2. Look at the Serving Size(s)
The next thing we would like you to notice is the serving size on the back of the product. Again, we do not count calories on our weight loss plan, but being aware of how much you are consuming may be beneficial to understand what a recommended amount consists of. If you think the serving size is the whole bag, but you notice the serving size says there are 4 servings per bag, you may want to be aware of how much you are consuming. They also use portion sizing as a way to falsely advertise to you (as seen in the avocado spray above claiming to be 0g of fat per serving in the spray…it most definitely has fats in it). A perfect example of this would be trans fats and how they are not actually required to be reported if there is less than 0.5g per serving size. So, the company might make the serving size smaller so they can report “0g Trans fats,” But if you are eating multiple servings, that “0g Trans fat” can quickly turn into 2g or more.
3. Go Through the Ingredients List Carefully
We really want you to focus on the Ingredients List of the product. It will ultimately give you all the information you need to know about the product as long as you know what to look for. The first thing to note is that the ingredients are listed by quantity. That means the first ingredient is the most abundant ingredient in the product. Second, is that companies are sneaky and try to use many names for the same ingredient, like “sugar.” Looking at an Ingredient List and knowing everything is listed by quantity, you may think the product is low in sugar because sugar is listed near the end of the list. But in fact, there may be many different types of sugars in lower quantities. One product may include “brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, ethyl maltol, rice syrup, and cane juice, fructose, barley malt,” which are all forms of sugar. There are also many names for things like milk (whey, lactose, milk powder, casein, dairy product solids), and all ingredients should be taken into account when reading the label.
With that being said, we really want you to focus on a few key areas when reading the Ingredients List. First, if you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want it in your body. Things like EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), dyes, inosinate, disodium guanylate, etc., are usually preservatives and chemicals used to enhance the appearance of the product and increase shelf life. Secondly, If the list is longer than 10 ingredients, it is usually highly processed and probably uses multiple of the same ingredient (my sugar example) to be able to cut advertising corners. Third, going back to trans fats, things that may not be listed in the Nutrients label may show up in the Ingredients List. “Hydrogenated oil” is another term for Trans fats and is still required to be put in the Ingredients List.
In Conclusion, the avocado spray pictured most definitely contains fats, even if the Nutrition Facts don’t claim it does. Shoot for items that have an Ingredients List of 3-10 Items that are whole foods (such as tomatoes) or things you can pronounce and understand what they are and avoid things you are uncertain of. Try to eat a high volume of whole fruits, veggies, essential fats, and lean meats to help nourish your body and keep you healthy!
Have You Been Struggling to Lose Weight? Dr. Kells’ Weight Loss Program Can Help!
Here at Dr. Kells’ DC, Weight Loss, we understand that it can seem daunting to tackle a weight loss program on your own. Having a partner to support you through the journey can make all the difference in helping you stay motivated and driven as you set your goals. That is why we offer our medical weight loss programs that don’t involve dangerous dieting fads or stressful exercise regimes. Rather than providing a generic program for every patient, our staff takes the time to get to know each individual’s lifestyle and needs to develop an effective weight loss plan tailored specifically for them – one designed with achievable goals and lasting results.
What is our approach to weight loss?
- Meal Planning (smaller meals, avoiding prepackaged foods, etc.)
- Nutritious Foods
- Detecting Hormone Imbalances
- Addressing Toxicity
- And much more!
With our help, even clients that have struggled with attempts at weight loss in the past are able to find success through commitment and dedication!
If you are ready to transform your life, you can schedule an appointment online or call us at: