Don’t let industry terms hinder your nutrition in Thousand Oaks.

Maintaining a healthy diet is hard enough without the confusion of food labeling terminology. Words like ‘all-natural’, ‘sugar-free’, and ‘organic’ seem to be on every product these days, but how do we know it’s healthy? Understanding the truth about the food you eat goes a long way in helping your nutrition in Thousand Oaks, so it’s helpful to know what this industry jargon actually means. Here’s a quick guide to help you decode common food label claims.

All Natural

The FDA doesn’t have a legal definition for ‘natural’, but they’ve accepted its use if the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. Be aware that even though a product is labeled ‘all natural’, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy or good for you and your weight loss goals.

Sugar Free

The industry standard ‘sugar-free’ product contains less than 0.5g of sugar per serving. Keep in mind that this limit is per serving, which may be kept very small in order to gain the ‘sugar-free’ stamp. For example, many coffee sweetener packages are only 1g, so these sugar-free sweeteners can be nearly 50 percent sugar and still be labeled ‘sugar-free’.

No Sugar Added

Not to be confused with ‘sugar-free’, ‘no sugar added’ simply means that there is no additional sugar added to the food and makes no claim about the amount of sugar that already exists in the food.

Fat-Free

This means that there is less than 0.5g of fat per serving. Pay attention to the serving size as well as the types of fat contained in the food. Keep in mind that not all fats are bad.

Light

This means it contains 1/3 fewer calories or 50 percent less fat than the original product. Since the legal definition is loose, it is possible for a ‘light’ product to contain more calories than the original.

Organic

This means the product is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Note that ‘organic’ is not regulated by the FDA, so any company can legally label their product as ‘organic’ without actually following protocol.

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