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Labelwise 2: The ‘Fat Free’ Felony

If any food product screams out 'Fat Free', stuff cotton in your ears and move away from the crime scene as soon as possible!

Labelwise 2: The ‘Fat Free’ Felony

Food giants are well aware of the ‘Fat Free’ criminal yet magnetic force. The lure is unashamedly irresistible. The mere sight of any product yelling out this sign and automatically our neurons jab the brain with greater excitement. And with minimal force we, the illiterate community, act out the required sequence of pick-me-up-and-take-me-home.

Let’s put it straight – any food product that has been robbed of fat would surely have been injected with worse alternatives. Salt, sugar and fat are the three predominant mediums that deliver taste. If fat has been removed from a food product it would have been replaced by either sugar or salt to ensure that it still retains a vote of approval from your innocent taste buds.

Anything labeled ‘Fat Free’ certainly doesn’t mean that it has a low calorific score or is a healthier option from its ‘Full Fat’ counterpart. Lets say you are trying to whip up some mayonnaise. Generally speaking the ratio is close to 1 egg yolk to 1 cup oil. A fat free version available at the supermarket would instead be pumped with gums, starches and emulsifiers to give you the same pale yellow, fluffed mayo that you would be slathering on your sandwiches. Nutritionally speaking such products do not make any sense to me, and neither should they to you!

Some food manufacturers have also gone as far as slapping ’0g Trans fat’ on their food labels. Trans fat is undisputedly the bad fat, which increases the bad cholesterol and is linked to Type 2 diabetes. And some of the ominous alibis for trans fat are:

Partially hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenated oils



Mono and di-glycerides

Another imperative point to note is that the nutrition labels on the food products give a ‘per serving’ breakdown. More often than not, we end up eating a lot more than the given serving size, especially when we are made to believe that we are consuming ‘Fat Free’ products.

When reading labels it is better to read the ingredients before investigating the nutritional breakdown. It is time, yet again, to detox your pantry and head out to the grocery stores dodging the loopholes since you are now label wise!

Be sure to catch up on my last and concluding Part III of ‘Labelwise’ in a fortnight!

The author blogs at www.capturebyst.com and can be followed on Twitter @capturebyst

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