Health

What "Fat Free" Actually Means on a Nutrition Label

Adam Dachis, Gawker Media

What

You might go to the grocery store and look for foods that claim "fat free" status, whether that means trans fats or any at all. In reality, those foods probably have fat in them and the nutrition facts just don't tell the complete truth.

Nutrition and diet expert Bonnie Taub-Dix explains:

The FDA allows any food with .5 grams of trans fat or less to claim "0 grams trans fat" on the label. If you happen to eat several servings or a few different 'trans fat-free' foods during a day, you can wind up consuming a measurable amount, which leads to increased levels of artery-clogging, bad (LDL) cholesterol. Don't be fooled! Check the ingredient list, and if you see "hydrogenated" or "partially-hydrogenated oil" listed, step away from the package.

Just because a fat free food probably contains fat doesn't mean you should avoid it because it might have some inside. You do need fat, and you won't gain weight if you eat a reasonable amount of it. Spend more time worrying about getting the nutrients you need and following a diet you enjoy rather than looking for excessive claims on the label.

Examining Food Myths and Facts | US News

Photo by Lim Yong Hian (Shutterstock).

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