The Real Meaning of Food Labels – Read for Your Health

Posted 06/18/2013 | By HealthCorps

Recent dietary recommendations include cutting the beef in your diet and only consuming red meat a couple times a week, if that much.  Certainly the cuts of meat you choose should contain less of the white marbled fat, because that kind of saturated fat is artery-clogging fat.  If you eat chicken, lose the skin, since the poultry skin contains mostly fat.

When you purchase meat, it’s important to understand certain terms on the label:

Extra lean means that the packaged meat or chicken contains less than 5 grams of total fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 mgs. of cholesterol per 3.5 ounce serving.

When a food is marked low calorie, it means that the food in the package has 40 fewer calories than the regular version of the same food, per serving.

Low fat foods have to contain 3 grams or less of fat, per serving.

Reduced-fat means that the food has 25% less fat than the regular version of that food, per serving.

A food that’s labeled, “zero trans fat,” can still have 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.  Read the ingredients label and look for any “partially hydrogenated fats” to identify whether or not there is really zero grams of trans fat.  If you eat a lot of processed foods, you may still be accumulating small amounts of trans fats which has been identified as a strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

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