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Trans Fit: Beware of food labels

Beware of health claims on food labels; packaging can be deceiving.

Ever wonder about the difference between reduced fat and low fat?  Or does ‘light’ on a label really mean no fat? 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines on how these food label terms can be used.  Remember packaging is a sales tool to attract you to an item.  

Stay with the CHRIS system and you will never go wrong.  

Here are some of the most common claims seen on food packages and what they mean:

  • Low Calorie: Less than 40 calories
  • Low Cholesterol: Less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Reduced: 25 percent less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product
  • Good source of: Provides at least 10 percent of the Daily Value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving
  • Calorie free: Less than five calories per serving
  • Fat free/sugar free: Less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving
  • Low Sodium: Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving
  • High in: Provides 20 percent or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving
  • High Fiber: Five or more grams of fiber per serving
  • Lean (meat, poultry, seafood): Ten grams of fat or less, 4 ½ grams of saturated fat and less than 95 mg cholesterol per 3 ounce serving
  • Light: 1/3 fewer calories or ½ the fat of the usual food
  • Healthy (individual food item): Low fat, low saturated fat, less than 480 mg sodium, less than 95 mg cholesterol and at least 10 percent of the Daily Value of vitamins A and C, iron, protein, calcium and fiber.

Also beware of the "% Daily Value" on the right side of Nutrition Facts label, as this is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Remember the CHRIS system "Plan You Work and Work Your Plan" for a healthier lifestyle.

Chris Tina Bruce demonstrates daily how packaging can be deceiving.  Take the time to educate yourself on you most valuable asset; your health.

More about Chris Tina Bruce

Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.

She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Discover Health and Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.

Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.

For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show, check out her website, follow her Hillcrest Fitness Facebook page, or call (972) 989-6076.

You can also follow Be Bold Be Proud on Twitter, or on Facebook.