Lifestyle: Blog, Nutrition

Nutrition Labels Are Wrong, But You Can Still Remain On Track!

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This a blog that I’ve been pushing off for a while because it’s controversial.  I know many won’t want to believe in what I write.   But once again, I believe everyone with or without a nutrition degree deserves some insight.

So every single day we rely on labels to guide us with deciding what to buy or what to make.  We buy foods meant for our low-carb diets or make recipes that provide us with the lowest carb or calorie content.  And while it’s a great decision for ourselves, the fact is that what we are reading may be wrong WITHOUT a doubt.

EXAMPLE #1: Famous Organic Brand of Yogurt

So if you haven’t read it yet, I published a blog not too long ago about a FAMOUS ORGANIC brand of yogurt that mislead all of us.  They mistakenly calculated the calories in the yogurt, and when I e-mailed them, they said “Whoops”…and never told us.

Instead of telling everyone of their mistake, as they should have done, they just changed the labels.  Making us all believe a change in composition RATHER than a miscalculation as they had done.

And given my background with having a type 1 diabetic brother and struggling with anorexia myself, I definitely believe this information should have been announced.  Because there are too many of us who rely upon nutritional labels for their health.

There are those that are diabetic, and carb count.  And having the CORRECT information would have allowed them to administered the right amount of insulin, to prevent blood sugars from spinning out of control.

There are those that follow macros. And having the CORRECT information would allow them to keep their physique in check.

There are just so many different types of diseases today that rely upon this nutrition that it doesn’t make sense.

It doesn’t make sense why this information wasn’t said rather than SILENTLY letting it go.  And just coming out with new labels!

 

EXAMPLE #2: Recipe from a FAMOUS CHAIN of Grocery Stores

Okay, so another example from a famous chain of grocery stores.  And since contacting them, they did take the recipe offline.  But they had published a recipe for cherry granola with dried cherries, oatmeal, and several other ingredients.  And while the calories were correct, the carbs set at 3 g was wrong.  In all actuality, this recipe had many more than 3 grams of carbs.  And if anyone made it thinking it was low carb, it could have caused many health issues which we don’t want.

Here’s the printed version I saved.

Granola Recipe Granola Recipe

Just using a SIMPLE recipe analyzer online, you can get an idea that 3 grams of carb per serving is definitely not accurate.  Here’s what was generated below:

And while I know the calories would differ according to brand, here’s just an example of why you shouldn’t take every label to heart.  Second guess everything you read and if you need, plug it all in to a recipe calculator as I’ve done!

My Thoughts

So while I understand that recipes and labels can be miscalculated, I also believe that this should be caught.  Given all the dietitians out there, I can’t understand why something so important could be miscalculated and published.  And even though mistakes happen, I don’t get why it wasn’t remediated with a brief publication.

So while I’m not attacking dietitians ( I truly do believe that some are great), I can’t seem to wrap my head around it all.  I don’t get how it takes someone with passion and experience (but without an RD) to catch this.  And don’t get how and why, given all the FDA regulations, that this happened on more than two occasions.

But On that Note…

I do believe that certain companies are absolutely fantastic.  There are many companies out there that do double and triple check, and when a mistake happens, they remediate it.  Instead of pushing it away, they accept what happened, and relay the information to the consumer.

I just wish more companies could be this way…and be trusted.

So I hope this is taken the way that I intend.  Because your health is so important and we should all go beyond to make a health a priority.  I believe that everyone deserves to know the truth behind every mistake made in the food industry.

But with that being said…

You Can Still Stay On Track!

Despite it all, you can still stay on track.  There are so many different ways.  But for now, let’s talk about staying as precise as we can in meal prep!

So despite the inaccurate labels, you can still stay on track.  All you need is your phone, a good scale, and the right ingredients in your fridge.  So here’s my suggestion of what to do!

#1: Phone

MyFitnesspal can be wrong, so you need to be careful.  I usually input my foods in and check on this website as I find it relatively easy to do.  I may also check this website from the US Government, but I more often than not, I rely on Calorieking!

#2: Good Scale

I rely on two scales and use them to measure what I eat everyday.  You may think I’m crazy, but I measure out ANY foods with grams or oz listed on the label, as oftentimes the 10 cracker amount is actually 8!  I also use it for measuring vegetables and fruits because each one has a different calorie content.  A small apple could be 60 calories or more than 180, depending on which one.  And I believe it’s important to stay on track with this as 130 calories each day can make a difference in the long run!

EatSmart Products Scale

With that being said, these are the two that I use everyday.

 

  1. Stainless Eatsmart Precision Elite Scale
  2. Black Eatsmart Precision Digital Scale

The first one is great for measuring my bowl of noodles or for anything that I’m going to put directly in my bowl.  And the second one is great for measuring fruits, veggies, and nuts as it’s a bit smaller than the first one.

But if you were in the market for a scale and just needed to buy one.  I would definitely recommend the stainless precision elite scale as opposed to black one as there’s a backlight that lights up.  It is a bit more expensive, but it’s currently on sale for less than $35.

The black one is great in that it is slightly more portable and less expensive (only $10).  It also is great for measuring smaller items, like nuts, as it has a bit of a lip.  It keeps the items you are measuring on it without having to place a bowl under it.

But when all is said and done, both scales are essentials in my kitchen, and I highly recommend any of them.

 

#3: Right Foods

The foods in your fridge are the ones you are going to make.  So it’s important to find foods that are healthy and make them fit within your day.  And while our preferences may be different these are the ones that are ALWAYS in my fridge!

Veggies
  • Zucchini (for Zoodles!)
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cucumber (for Salads)
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Colored Peppers (I prefer yellow!)

 

Dips and Spreads!
  • Hummus
  • Almond Butter/Peanut Butter
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Mustard
Drinks!
  • Hint Water
  • GTS Kombucha
  • Water
Bread!
  • Tumarro’s Low Carb Wraps
  • Food For Life Genesis Bread
Fruit
  • Fruit (Any kind that’s on sale… But my favorite is Driscoll’s Strawberries!)
Protein
  • Egg Whites
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Tofu
  • Fish?
  • MUUNA cottage cheese
Milk
  • Cashew Milk
Misc.
  • Nunaturals Cocoa Syrup

 

P.S. You can shop and save 25% off on fresh and healthy options using the link below at Thrive Market.  I order several items from here, such as Jilz crackers (a great low carb option), nuts, pretzels, teas, etc.

 

The End

So there are ways to be a conscious consumer and to stay on track with your health today.  Instead of giving up, become educated by what you read.  Don’t let any ONE person or article sway you to start a new diet or eat a certain food.  Rely on several sources, and make an educated decision.  You can make your health better by next year by the decisions you make today.

 

Zoodles

 

Salad

With Love Always,

 

 

Michele

 

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5 thoughts on “Nutrition Labels Are Wrong, But You Can Still Remain On Track!

    1. Thank you for reading and glad to have helped! Hope you got the chance to subscribe as it’s one category I’ll be talking about more!

  1. You cite two examples of erroneous calorie advertisement, but are you aware of any studies evaluating this likely common error on a large scale? I have found one in relation to infant formula where 25% of products had 10% errors in labeling for sugar (Walker 2015 in Nutrition). I appreciate your concern for people who must be careful with their food, and you highlight a potential issue worthy of deeper study.

    1. I know that nutritional labels can be acceptable if they differ by a certain percentage of what is said. But in these two cases, the percentage was much greater than that allowed. And my point of this is not only to bring awareness to the error, but also to suggest that companies remediate it rather than letting it go away. I think that companies should CORRECT it ASAP as many with type 1 diabetes utilize the label everyday for insulin administration.

      And thank you so much for your support!

    2. And in this case, the mistake was made directly on the nutrition label simply utilizing a baseline of the ingredients and/or macros. it didn’t involve the actual contents and calorimetry as the example in which you state.

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