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Healthy Living: Counting calories not so simple
This is not new news, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Most people don’t realize that the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for regulating food labels, allows companies to be as much as 20 percent off on calories and key nutrients.
In fact, researchers from Tufts University found that measured energy values of 29 quick-serve and sit-down restaurant foods averaged 18 percent more calories than the stated values. Likewise, measured energy values of 10 frozen meals purchased from supermarkets averaged 8 percent more calories than stated on the label.
What does that mean? You could be consuming a lot more calories (and other nutrients, such as sodium) than you think.
It gets worse, because it works in reverse, too. The nutrients you need, such as fiber and vitamins, must be present at 80 percent or more of the value declared on the label, which means that the food may contain only 80 percent of the amount listed. Account for these differences in your diet.
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