Avoid Diet Traps – Womens Health

I found this article on Active.com, but it’s from Women’s Health.  Here is the link for it.


As someone who works in the food industry, these kinds of articles really drive me bonkers.  It’s not the information, which is indeed all factual, it’s the way it’s presented.  The tagline for the article is that it will “blow the lid” off the food industry and reveal all the “secrets”.  The intent is to sow distrust of the food industry, who believe me is NOT trying to kill you.  If you read the article, every piece of information they cite came right off the nutrition facts label.. well now that’s not very secret is it?

For example, the first paragraph “For instance, you might notice a label on a package of cookies that proclaims “fat-free!” But what you don’t see (at least not until you examine the tiny print on the Nutrition Facts panel) is that those cookies are loaded with sugar and additives.”  This is not that hidden.. in fact it’s so obvious that I noticed it and wrote a blog about it.  Low sugar items are high in fat and fat free items are high in sugar.

Read how this paragraph is phrased called “Numbers are deceiving”:
“On the front of a box of reduced-fat Keebler Club Crackers — in big yellow letters, no less — you’ll find the following claim: “33 percent Less Fat Than Original Club Crackers.” The math is accurate: The original product does contain three grams of fat per serving, while the reduced-fat version has two grams. It is a 33 percent difference — but we’re only talking about one gram of fat here!”  The claim here is that 1 gram of fat is not a big reduction, even though the 33% math is correct.. but wait.. why not dwell on the fact that this product is already low fat with only 3 grams of fat per serving, and the reduced fat version even more so.  You should be praising this company, not vilifying them.

Obviously, a food company’s goal is to get you to buy their products, so this comment comes as no surprise: “Thing is, those claims? They’re not exactly what they seem. They’re a marketing ploy, pure and simple.” Wait.. who wrote this article? Eat This, Not That… the purpose of the article is to sell a book… it’s a marketing PLOY.. touche`… that sword cuts both ways doesn’t it?

The bottom line is this.. We all make our own choices.. if you don’t like something by all means don’t buy it and don’t eat it.  The labels are there for a reason, read them.  Such as the chips I reviewed recently that boasted a 33% fat reduction, I also listed that the RF was 6.7 grams per serving vs 10 for the normal.  Is that still too high for some people? Probably.. but that’s why the numbers are on there.

Nothing in a food product will hurt you. I promise.  Everything on the planet in too high a quantity is poisonous, even water and sunshine.  Our bodies even require very very minute quantities of  elements like Mercury and Arsenic that are extremely toxic, but our body uses them in microscopic amounts to function.

If the food industry was trying to kill you we would very soon run out of customers would we not?


1 Comment

  1. As far as food additives go, I was starting to drive myself insane trying to figure out what to eat. The grocery store shelves were laden with packages containing evil things I couldn’t pronounce and more evil things that I could–like high fructose corn syrup (gasp!).

    Just wanted to say that I feel a hell of a lot better about food additives in general since I’ve read some of your blog posts about them. In one that was super-helpful, you talked about how many additives people freak out about are actually derived from natural sources.

    Of course fresh, healthy foods, veggies, etc. are the best. But additives are unavoidable if you’re going to have anything that’s canned, boxed, or pre-packaged in any way. We need the pre-packaged stuff to supplement the fresh, healthy stuff. Now I don’t feel like I’m killing myself and my family when I buy things with additives–as long as they are healthy foods. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject!

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.