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August 2013 | The GI & Bariatric Nutrition Center, LLC | 443-490-1240

2Q & 3Q 2013, DOUBLE ISSUE

Nancy Lum, RD, LDN

Newsletter Focus: Food Label Reading & Deceptions

Contents Special Interest Articles Reading a Food Label


Four Common Food Label Deceptions


Portion Sizing Chart – Cut Out


Added Sugars


Individual Highlights Recipe Corner


Upcoming STRIVE MD Series I Dates


Upcoming Support Group Dates


Highlights In this DOUBLE edition we will focus on reading food labels and food label deceptions. Our goal has always been and will remain the same: to provide you with the proper tools to make healthy food choices. With the proper knowledge you too can master going to the grocery store or out to eat without fear of sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. Here’s how:

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Labeling a food as "free" of a certain nutrient, whether salt, sugar, or fat, means it has none, or a "physiologically inconsequential" amount of that nutrient, according to the FDA. If the package says "caloriefree," the item has fewer than 5 calories per serving. For sugar or fat, this means the food has fewer than 0.5 grams per serving. But be careful, says Frechman. A food "could say 'fatfree,' but it could contain a lot of calories from sugar," she explains. "If you're watching your weight, you should also look at the total calories." Low-Fat, Low-Sugar, or Low-Salt

Walk into any supermarket, and you'll find rows of packaged foods boasting how healthy they are. From "fat-free" to "natural" to "helps your immune system," front-of-the-box labels may give the appearance of good nutrition, but the reality is a bit more complicated. Unlike the Nutrition Facts panel, which is tightly regulated, front-ofthe-package food labels aren't as closely monitored. In addition, food companies tend to "stretch the envelope" of what's permitted, says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. The result, she says: Many of the health claims you see are misleading. In the past few years, the Food and Drug Administration has gone after more than a dozen food companies for deceptive labeling, but the most important thing for consumers to do, says Ruth Frechman, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is to "be informed so they know how to interpret the label." Here's a look at some of the most common front-of-the-package food labels, and what they really mean: Fat-, Sugar-, or Salt-Free

If an item is labeled "low" in a particular element, it means that you can eat several servings without exceeding the recommended daily limit. Low-fat products have fewer than 3 grams of fat per serving; lowsaturated fat items have less than 1 gram per serving. Low-sodium means the food has 140 milligrams or less per serving; low-cholesterol means 20 mg. or less and fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat. Low-calorie products have fewer than 40 calories per serving. No Trans Fats Even if a package advertises "no trans fats," be careful. Products carrying this label can still have up to half a gram of trans fat per serving, according to the FDA. "If you eat a bunch of servings, it could add up," says Frechman. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that raise your LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" kind) and increase your risk of heart disease. Because of these health risks, trans fats have been banned or restricted in several cities and counties . Health Claims Michael Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, says the FDA requires scientific consensus before a company can claim its product strengthens a body part or prevents a disease. However,

claims that a food maintains or supports a bodily function are not monitored as strictly. While the FDA gives the vague guideline that they must be "truthful and not misleading," it does not require any scientific evidence for these claims to be made. A CSPI report gives an example of how confusing this can be: The label "may help reduce the risk of heart disease" would require FDA approval, while "helps maintain a healthy heart" would not. Another common but largely unregulated health claim is "helps support immunity." According to Jacobson, this kind of wording "is a great example of how companies are tricking consumers," because there may not be any evidence to back their claims. Nestle offers her own advice: "My somewhat facetious rule is never to buy anything with a health claim because they are all misleading." Natural The FDA has no formal definition for what "natural" means, but defers to a nearly 20-year-old policy that says it will not object to the label as long as the product "does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances." In the end, Nestle says, the "natural" label "means basically whatever the manufacturer decides." Organic The U.S. Department of Agriculture has specific guidelines that food producers must comply with if they want to use the "organic" label. Animal products cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones, and plants cannot be grown with conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage. Genetic engineering and irradiation, exposing crops to radiation to kill bacteria and other pests, are also prohibited for plants to be considered organic. There are three levels of organic to look for in stores. "One hundred percent organic" means products are made entirely from organic

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ingredients, "organic" means that at least 95 percent of a product's ingredients are organic, and "made with organic ingredients" indicates that at least 70 percent of ingredients are organic. While going organic may be better for the environment, Frechman says it's "not necessarily" the healthier option. "The science is mixed," she says.



Fresh According to the FDA, food items labeled "fresh" must be raw or unprocessed, and never have been frozen or heated. They also cannot contain any preservatives. However, "fresh" does not mean that fruits and vegetables have been picked recently, or that animals were killed at a certain time. As Frechman says, "fresh" produce may have bacteria from sitting in a store or on a truck for a long time, so make sure you wash all fruits and vegetables. Genetically Modified Genetically modified foods—whose DNA has been altered with the help of modern technology—do not have to be labeled, though their safety is still up for debate in the scientific community. (According to the World Health Organization, "GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health.") The majority of corn and soy—primary ingredients in junk food—are genetically modified, so researchers estimate that 70 percent of all processed foods contain some genetically modified ingredients, though you wouldn't know it to look at the packaging. The only way to avoid genetically modified foods is to buy 100 percent organic. But be on the lookout for new policy changes—a California ballot measure will ask voters in November whether the state should require that all genetically modified foods be labeled.

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some manufacturers try to make

around the world have even

people think that their products are low in sugar. They use a

banned the sale and consumption of any product that contains trans

combination of different sweeteners, such as cane sugar,

fat. Therefore, it has become a good business practice for food

evaporated cane sugar, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup and high

manufacturers to include a “Zero Trans Fat” label on their products.

fructose corn syrup, in their products. These sweeteners have

Many products do not contain any trans fat at all, but there are some

the same effect on the body as regular sugar, and they do not have

products that have small amounts of it. FDA requires manufacturers

any nutritional value. According to regulations set by the FDA,

to report trans fat on their food labels if the quantity is more than

ingredients of the highest concentrations have to be listed

0.5 grams per serving. To make consumers think that their products

on food labels first. With so many different types of sweeteners in the

are free of trans fat, manufacturers suggest smaller serving sizes on

products, the total sugar content will not be shown on the food

their labels.

labels. Instead, it will appear as several separate ingredients. Those

4) Hiding Detrimental Ingredients

One of the best ways to find out the nutritional values of packaged

who do not know terms such as dextrose and sucrose will think that

Many manufacturers also replace the names of certain detrimental

foods is to look at foodlabels. Food labels provide important

the food products contain very little sugar.

ingredients with more innocentsounding names, so that consumers

information such as the ingredients used, recommended serving sizes,

2) Manipulation of Serving Sizes

will not be deterred from trying their products. For instance, the

calories, nutrition and others. However, some food

Food manufacturers can also trick

term “yeast extract” is used as a substitute for the dangerous

manufacturers use misleading labels to trick consumers into

consumers by manipulating portion sizes that are shown on food labels.

additive MSG, and “sodium nitrate” is actually an ingredient that can

thinking that their products have high nutritional values, when the

The portion sizes are reduced to ridiculously small quantities, which

contribute to the development of a few types of cancer.

products may be unhealthy and even toxic. To make sure that you

are still legal according to FDA regulations, and the amounts of


will not be deceived by dishonest food labels, you should

ingredients will appear to be lower than their actual amounts in the

learn more about the common types of food label deceptions that

whole product. For example, people usually drink a whole bottle


are used by food manufacturers to make their products more

of soda in one sitting, but the label may indicate that a bottle is

attractive to consumers.

actually 2 or 2 1/2 servings.

1) Combination of Sweeteners

3) The “Zero Trans Fat” Trick

Modern consumers are concerned with the quantities of sugar that are

In the past few years, many negative things have been said

found in food products. As such,

about trans fat, and some localities

4 Common Food Label Deceptions

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Finding Hidden Sugars on Food Labels & Recommendations for Substitutions


Dextrose Fructose Galactose Glucose Lactose




* Agave Derived from the blue agave cactus, agave syrup tastes similar to honey (high concentrated sugar); * Barley Malt – A sweet syrup with a strong malt flavor, derived from sprouted barley; Beet Sugar; Brown Sugar;

* Brown Rice Syrup A syrup made from sprouted brown rice. Cane Juice crystals; Cane Sugar; Caramel Color; Confectionary Sugar; Corn Sugar; Corn Sweetener; Corn Syrup; Corn Syrup Solids;

Levulose Maltose Saccharose Sucrose Xylose Mannitol Sorbitol Xylitol * Date Sugar High Fructose A sweetener Corn Syrup; consisting of Honey; ground, dried Invert Sugar; dates. Can be Isomalt; substituted for Malt Syrup; other granulated Maltodextrin sugars. It also adds Maple Sugar; moistness to Maple Syrup; baked goods; Molasses; Palm Sugar; Dehydrated Cane Raw Sugar; Juice; Rice Syrup; Dextrin; Sorghum; Fruit Juice Treacle; Concentrate; Turbinado Sugar Granulated Sugar;

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Sugar Substitutes Recommended

Stevia or brand name Truvia - A naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay. It is non-caloric, and has been used as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries.

Domino Sugar/Stevia Blend - is made from Stevia and some sugar combined and does not have the aftertaste of Stevia alone.

 

Splenda and Splenda Baking blends - is a sugar derivative from sugar.

Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener – Sweetener made from real, naturally sweet monk fruit extract blended with other natural sweeteners (erythritol, sugar and molasses). Gluten free, and up to 1tsp of Nectresse is considered a “free food” in diabetic meal-plans (The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American

Susta - is made of natural ingredients. These ingredients are orange peel, probiotics, or “good bacteria,” vitamin C, cinnamon extract, goji berry extract, grape seed extract–and the list goes on, with still more natural extracts and B vitamins in the mix. SUSTA’S composition resembles a fruit or vegetable. In creating SUSTA was to make something that could taste just like sugar but could also help you feel better.

Diabetes Association consider a free food to be any food or beverage that contains less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serving).

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This product contains high sugar (and added sugar is the 3nd ingredient outside of the parenthesis) and is not a considerable source of protein at 10g per serving.

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This product contains low sugar and is a good source of protein at 20g per serving.

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Recipe Corner:

Blackberry Protein Popsicles with Dark Chocolate Sugar-Free “Magic-Shell” Coating Popscicle:      

1 scoop unflavored protein powder 1 container Blackberry Chobani Greek Yogurt 1/4c. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk 1/4 tsp. Nectreese 1 handful fresh blackberries 3-4 ice cubes.

Blend. Pour in pop mold & freeze overnight. Dark Chocolate Sugar-Free Shell:  

2T coconut oil, 1/4c Special Dark Chocolate cocoa,  2tsp (or to taste) sweetener like Nectresse . Melt coconut oil and sweetener in microwave for 30 seconds. Add in cocoa and stir. Dip or spoon over your protein popsicles. Recipe by: Heather Neider

Jalapeño Shrimp Cakes

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 shrimp cake w/ avocado • Calories: 173 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 5 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 24 g • Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 321 mg • Cholest: 172 mg

Ingredients:  1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)  1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced (for spicy, leave the seeds)  1 garlic clove, minced  3 medium scallions, chopped  2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped  2 tablespoons panko (use GF crumbs for gluten free)  1/4 teaspoon sea salt

 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper For topping: 4 lime wedges  1/2 medium avocado, sliced thin Directions: Dry shrimp well with a paper towel then place the shrimp in the food processor along with jalapeño and garlic then pulse a few times until almost pasty. Combine the shrimp in a large bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Source: SkinnyTaste /2013/05/jalapeno-shrimpcakes.html

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Upcoming Events

STRIVE MD Motivational Group Counseling, Series I Both at Geipe Road - ALL of These dates are on Saturdays Group 8

Nancy Lum, RD, LDN & Dawn O’Meally, LCSW-C, P.A.

Group 9


9- 10:30



9 -10:30



9 -10:30



9- 10:30


For more information about STRIVE and to register please visit:


9- 10:30

11:30 1:00


9- 10:30


or call 443-490-1240


9- 10:30


STRIVE MD is a series of group counseling meetings being held by both Dietitian Nancy Lum and Therapist Dawn O’Meally. Participants will have the benefit of receiving both nutrition counseling and psycho-educational therapy at the same time - at each and every meeting! focus will be on the cognitive & behavioral changes necessary to help you obtain your weight loss goals and to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. At STRIVE MD we want YOU to be able to make the healthy choices necessary to meet your goals!!

Upcoming Support Group Meetings: All Support Group Meetings are held Monday Evenings from 6-7PM and located at: St. Agnes Hospital, Alagia Auditorium  Monday, 9/16/2013  Monday, 10/7/2013 – Nancy & Dawn teach with Special Guests: NutraMetrix; Heather Neider, Nancy’s COO, who will be providing samples of her protein shake recipes, and Steven Weiss, certified TRX trainer at Anytime Fitness, Frederick, will be demonstrating body-weight resistance and functional training exercises.,  Monday, 10/21/2013  Monday, 11/4/2013 – Nancy & Dawn teach  Monday, 11/18/2013  Monday, 12/2/2013 – Holiday Party!!

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2013 2q and 3q double issue newsletter  
2013 2q and 3q double issue newsletter