Wedsday Five Down: Facts Up Front, Falsehoods Everywhere ElsePosted: May 8, 2013
Calorie is as a Calorie does, I discussed this on Friday in response to some Coked up press releases. Well the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is now championing the just to many darn calories as the source of obesity in our country. Here we go again with the info graphics
The GMA program wants to arm American consumers with critical “nutrition information about their favorite products.”
What are America’s “favorite products,” well here is the Board of Directors. Their day jobs should give one a hint.
At the top of the food Chain:
– Chair: Gary Rodkin, CEO of ConAgra Foods
– Vice-Chair: Ken Powell, Chairman and CEO of General Mills
– Treasurer/Secretary: William B. Cyr, President and CEO of Sunny Delight Beverages
The GMA wants consumers to know it is all for informative labeling (unless, that is, they are for GMOs), hence the Facts Up Front project… and this weeks Foodie Five Down
The Big Front 5:
Facts Up Front (FUF) labels display how many calories and how much saturated fat, sodium and sugar is in each serving. This is a step in the right direction for consumer protection, but the GMA sponsored description of the FUF label warrants some investigation. I’ll stem the urge to rammble at length, each one of these is a book in its self. HIt me with questions should they arise
1) Calories: “Burning more calories than you eat and drink can lead to weight loss. When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, all calories count, no matter what food or beverages they come from.”
– FUF Interactive Label
One calorie is defined as the energy it takes to raise one gram of H2O one degree. This concept is as foreign to the body as the processed foods it describes. The FUF label is using the 2000 cal/per day American bench mark, but that is not universal. Some need a little less, most need a little more. Here is what the GMA projected for me.
Humans are not Hondas. We run on varied diets, not a singular fuel
100 cal of microwave pizza very different from 100 calories of oven roasted carrots. The latter does not need a calorie count, because it is food, not fuel. I talked about this last week.
Nutrient density trumps the calorie. 3000 calories a day worth of veggies, good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, pastured butter, avocado, etc.), clean proteins, and some hormone free dairy is better than 2000 calories worth of the GMA Chairman’s full line line of foodish foolishness.
So got to the sides of the grocery store where calories do NOT count.
2) Saturated Fat: “Eating too much saturated fat may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Sat fat warrant the same explantion as calories. It is all about the source. Though the GMA would like to lump all lards into the same pile, the sat fat in your bag of chips is very different from the coconut cream in a good fresh curry. Chances are if the fat is from something with microwave instructions it is from things like added processed cheese, processed pre cooked meats, and hydrogenated corn and/or soy. These type you should shy away from.
Don’t waste the great feeling of fat. Invest in some real and good cheese. Leave the Hidden Valley Ranch and drizzle olive oil liberally. Keep Hostess in bankrupcy and bake yourself with good butter, eggs, and/or coconut oil. The cost will only be more if you looking at quantity. A little good fat goes a long way
3) Sodium: “Sodium is part of salt. Sodium naturally occurs in many foods. The Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day (1 teaspoon of salt) or 1,500 mg (approximately ½ teaspoon of salt) if you are 51 or older, if you are African American, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.”
Sodium does occur naturally in many foods, so get it from them! Anything the GMA is representing is much less than natural. Processed foods often amount to little less than bricks of sodium.
Cutting back on salt? back on the salt, don’t take the shaker off the table just take the processed food out of the cabinet, then shake as much as pleases the palette. We can add our own salt just fine thank ye.
4) Sugar: “Sugar is a source of calories in food, so you should watch how much is in your diet. Sugar is found naturally in dairy products (as lactose) and fruit (as fructose). It is also added to food and beverages for flavor, texture and color.”
In GMA represented foodishness the sugar is alway added and always refined. There is no universal Daily limit on sugar intake, The American heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women, with none of it coming from high fructose corn syrup.
Fruit is SWEET!. Aim to satiety sweet urges with some tree candy… or some good candy free trail mix that stuff is everywhere. I LOVE chocolate but I try keep sugar sweet and save it for those special times with a special some one (or an awesome book)
5) Fiber: “Dietary fiber is important for good health. It can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease; it is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.”
But Why? Fibers in food bind up dietary cholesterol preventing it from eventually plateauing up the heart. The same binding principles apply to sugar, so the 13 grams of sugar in that Granny Smith Apple get absorbed quite slowly, where as the 20 grams of refined sugar in the Oreo Mini’s snack pack give your. insulin a much tougher time
Great advice GMA! I’ll start getting my fiber from these fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts you speak of.
Read labels closely and remember the best foods have no labels.