GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - We all need to eat, and we know eating healthily is important.
Yet often misleading claims on nutritional labels could be wreaking havoc on your diet.
So, Christina Meyer-Jax, a registered dietitian, visited KARE 11 Sunrise to help us debunk misleading labels.
NO TRANS FAT - Any products with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat - an artificial ingredient that leads to increases in artery-clogging bad cholesterol (LDL) - can be legally claimed as having zero trans fats. If you happen to eat several servings or a few different 'trans fat-free' foods a day, you can wind up consuming a measurable amount.
- Label Lesson: Avoid products with partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats, listed as an ingredient.
MULTIGRAIN- Many of us confuse the 'multigrain' claim on our bread, pretzels and even chips to be the same as "whole grain" or "whole wheat" - both of which are associated with reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Don't be fooled - multigrain means the product is made from several types of grains which can include refined and less nutritionally-positive varieties.
- Label Lesson: To make sure the product is made primarily with whole grains, check the first ingredient listed on the label - it should have the word "whole" in it!
SUGAR FREE - More and more consumers are looking for products that are low in sugar; however, beware of sugar-free claims as these foods typically use artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols which often cause digestive issues.
- Label Lesson: Be on the lookout for ingredient lists that include artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols such as aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and erythritol.
LIGHT - A product claiming to be light must have one-third fewer calories, fat or sodium than the regular version of that same product. Be on the lookout, though, as a light ice cream, for example, may have less fat but around the same calories.
- Label Lesson: Before piling up on what you believe is a 'light' snack, be sure to read the label to see which category the food has less of and more importantly, stick to the serving size!
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