1. How can I tell by looking at a Nutrition Facts Panel if a product has added sugars?
Current nutrition labels don't list the amount of added sugars (alone) in a product. The line for "sugars" you see on a nutrition label includes both added and naturally occurring sugars in the product. Naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk, cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.
But you can read the ingredient list on a processed food's label to tell if the product contains added sugars. Names for added sugars on labels include:
- Brown sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Sugar molecules ending in "ose" (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Raw sugar
2. Are all foods labeled "Fat Free" food for me in terms of weight management?
No. Foods which are "fat-free" can still be very high in calories and low in nutrients, such as fat-free cookies, sweets, desserts, and other snack foods. Choose foods like vegetables, fruits, fish and other seafood, whole-grain products (like whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice), nuts, beans, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
3. Why can't I see monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat on many food labels?
Currently, food manufacturers aren't required to show the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content in their products. If the food manufacturer chooses not to disclose it, you won't see it
4. I would like to get advice about my eating habits.
Registered Dietitians (RD) are the health professionals who are trained to provide counseling on nutrition and eating habits. An RD can provide personalized dietary advice taking into consideration your health status, lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes. The American Dietetic Association has a Find a Nutrition Professional service that allows you to locate an RD in your geographical area. Be advised that this list may not include all RDs in your area. You may access the ADA website here www.eatright.org
5. Which type of oil is best for cooking?
You should look for oils that are high in unsaturated fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated on nutrition labels) and low in saturated fat. The top two on this list are canola oil and olive oil. When it comes to olive oil, the difference between virgin, extra virgin, or light is more a matter of preference in terms of flavor. These variations do not change the nutrition facts