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food labels



70 More Calories in Baked Cheetos Than Crunchy and More Junk Food Hiding Behind Health Halos

I’ve often joked that the only reason baked chips are listed as healthier than their traditional counterparts is because you get less product per bag. Apparently, my jokes weren’t too far from the truth.

cheetos

We’ve discovered that Baked Cheetos in particular actually have 70 more calories than their crunchy counterparts. It’s an excellent example of how “positive” branding can make a consumer assume a product is healthy, even when it isn’t.

This is what’s known as a health halo. It’s the perception that one thing is healthy or has healthy qualities because something with similar qualities is healthy. Using the Cheetos example; we know baked foods are usually healthier than fried foods, so when consumers see the word “baked” on a label, they assume the product is better for them.

Health halos aren’t limited to Cheetos. You don’t have to search the grocery shelves too hard to find other foods getting more glory than they deserve.
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Subway Ditches Toxic Chemical Found in Yoga Mats. Still Widely Used, Though

After a public petition to ban azodicarbonamide, a chemical also found in yoga mats and shoe rubber, Subway has officially agreed to remove the toxin from their sandwich breads. This substance has been banned across the globe, but it’s still allowed in the U.S. and found in almost every fast food chain baked goods including Starbucks, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and Wendy’s.

subway

Azodicarbonamide is known to induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers and consumers. It is intended as a dough conditioner, but when baked can create the known carcinogen urethane.


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Slammin’! Food Labels to Get First Major Update in 20 Years

If something has stayed the same for 20 years, it’s usually either a sign of a tradition holding fast, or an indication that it’s time for a change. Change is in the air at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has plans to overhaul its 20-year-old design of food labels.

food label

According to the FDA, the new design is headed down the path of final approval. “The agency is working toward publishing proposed rules to update the nutrition facts label and serving size information to improve consumer understanding and use of nutrition information on food labels,” Juli Putnam, a media spokesperson for the FDA, told TIME magazine.

Many consumers and nutrition experts are saying it’s about time the labels are updated. Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods told ABC News that, 20 years ago, “there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated. The food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed. It’s important to keep this updated so what is iconic doesn’t become a relic.”

The last notable change to food labels was the separation of trans fats from all fats in 2006, due to consumer demand.


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Major Organic Brands Still Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Efforts in Front of Washington’s I-522 Vote

I-522

They’re at it again, and this time just a little more sneakily than before. Not only are some of the biggest brands in organic and earth-friendly food still supporting anti-labeling campaigns, but now they’re trying to do it in secret.

A new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org shows which brands still oppose the labeling of GMOs. What’s more, after facing major backlash from their opposition to Prop 37, many of those corporations hid behind membership in the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to secretly continue funding anti-labeling measures.
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Nutritional Labeling on Alcohol May Become a Reality to Educate Drinkers

A humble pocket of our society has grown increasingly health conscious in recent years, and while DietsInReview touts the positive exploits of the nutritionally enlightened, there is still a large chunk of the population who simply don’t get it. Proposed nutritional labeling on alcoholic beverages is an issue that could unite both the trim and otherwise alike, and perhaps usher some unhealthy citizens toward the light.

Alcohol

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau originally proposed the nutritional labeling in 2007, and have been mulling over its execution since then. The production and consumption of alcohol is big business—it’s said beer is the third most popular beverage in the world—so the fact that nutritional labels aren’t being slapped on cans and bottles already is mystifying. The alcohol manufacturers that have caught on to the calorie conscious trend—Skinny Girl spirits and Miller 64 come to mind—are all for the proposed change. Those same people are fans of the change because they want increased options and awareness of what’s in their libations.
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