Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

food labels



Beware Four Tricky and Common Nutrition Label Claims

Picture this: the doors have slid open, the gust of cold air hits us, and now we’re faced with the 45,000 products the average supermarket carries. Aside from feeling purely overwhelmed at deciding what and how to choose what goes into our carts, along with our rushed, over-scheduled lives, we seem to spend more time thinking about what goes ON our bodies (like clothes and shoes) than what goes IN them.

So many food labels are difficult to decode – perhaps the reason why 60-70 percent of what we purchase is unplanned. We often fall prey to items that wear descriptive names, like “natural” and “wholesome” and “organic”…these words are like magnets attracting us to their otherwise less attractive products. Studies have shown that when a food is deemed superior through a name, it is more likely that people would expect the food to be beneficial to their health. Trans-fat free fries, baked chips, and organic candies are all surrounded by health halos, yet some halos are far from angelic.

But you shouldn’t have to be a mathematician, a librarian, or a dietitian to buy the right foods. The food label should be like the table of contents of a book – it should tell us what’s inside. Unfortunately, misleading labels lurk throughout the store and I’m here today to give you the inside scoop on what’s really going on between the lines. Here are a few examples of some personal favorite ‘wall of shame’ claims where food companies are selling sound bites instead of sound advice.
Read Full Post >



Your Red Snapper May Actually be a Mercury-Filled Tilefish

The nonprofit ocean protection group called Oceana has been performing a study, the results of which were released last week. The question – whether or not we’re being sold, and therefore eating, the fish we think we are.

Oceana took a sum of around 1,215 fish from 12 different parts of the country and examined them to see if they matched their labels or not. Listed below are the study’s findings.

  • About one-third of the 1,215 fish samples bought from 2010-2012 were mislabeled.
  • In a collection of 120 samples that were marked as red snapper fish, 28 different species of fish were discovered. Of those, 17 were not even within the snapper fish family.
  • Southern California was the region most likely to be misinformed with 52 percent of the samples bought there actually being something different.
    Read Full Post >


HealthBuzz October 12: Organic Companies Anti-Prop 37, Sarah Palin’s Diet, and Healthy Caramel Apple Recipes

We’re just hours away from the weekend! So that means it’s time for a dose of healthy news from DIR and our friends. This week’s headlines include a story about major organic companies funding against GMO labeling, a lunch lady told to stop making healthier food, and caramel apple-inspired recipes for fall.

Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue by Writing a Diet and Fitness Book

If you can’t get enough of Sarah Palin then you’ll want to pick up her diet and fitness book when (and if) it is for sale, which she announced is in the works. It will be interesting to read and hear about the things in her book because the former Alaskan governor once bashed the idea of serving healthy snacks in schools. Do you think people will take the book seriously? Tell us what you think!

Paul Ryan Would Leave Joe Biden in the Dust if Politics Was Gym Class

Thursday’s presidential debate probably left some questions relating to America’s future answered and others unanswered. So we were questioning who would win the election depending on who has the best physical fitness and personal diet? Take a look at Congressman Paul Ryan’s and Vice President Joe Biden’s fitness routine and diet habits and tell us what you think!

Major Organic Brands, Like Kashi and Naked, Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Campaigns

The vote for California’s Prop 37 is next month and if it is passed it will radically change the processed food industry. Many Californians and organic brands like Clif Bar, Annie’s and Uncle Matt’s are in favor of Prop 37. However, other organic brands like Kashi, Naked, and Silk are donating thousands-to-millions of dollars to fund anti-GMO labeling campaigns. Do you think the organic companies shouldn’t be donating against GMO labeling and practice what they preach?
Read Full Post >



More Real Food, Less Complex Math: A Simpler Way to Read Nutrition Labels

By Jonathan Bailor

Have you ever wondered what the vitamin and mineral percentages on nutrition labels actually mean?

Ten percent of vitamin A. Hmmmm. Is that good or bad? Ten percent for a child? Ten percent for an adult? Ten percent for a woman? Oh gosh, I thought I was grocery shopping not taking a math test.

These are wonderful questions to ask, because otherwise we may assume double-digit percentages mean the food is nutritious, and sadly, that’s frequently false. For example, let’s say you want to mix it up a bit during your next trip to the grocery store, and are looking to boost your calcium intake. You spot some goat’s milk, and consider giving it a whirl. You grab the carton, flip it around and see this label: 30 percent calcium. Traditionally you may consider this a “good source” of calcium. But is it? Should you give the good old goat a go? Maybe.

Here are the three key questions to ask to help with your decision:
Read Full Post >



Is MSG Bad for You? The Facts about Monosodium Glutamate Make for a Hung Jury

It’s in ranch dressing, Doritos, canned soups, and french fries. You’re eating it if you go to KFC, have green bean casserole, or take a swig of Diet Coke. Really, any processed food likely includes some form of it. What is this ubiquitous food product? Monosodium glutamate, most commonly known as MSG.

For years, MSG has been the subject of debate. The Food and Drug Administration calls it safe, MSG-sensitive persons think it causes headaches and asthma, and scientists show conflicting research on the effects of MSG. What’s the truth? Should everyone stop eating it? Are the food companies and government in conspiracy against the public? Or is this product a safe and healthy flavor enhancer?

First, it is helpful to go over what monosodium glutamate is. MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor without giving a flavor of its own, according to the FDA. It was first discovered in Japan in 1908 by a scientist named Ikeda, who isolated the compound after wanting to know the secret of his wife’s delicious soup. Along with branding his product and making millions, he also came up with the idea of umami, a fifth taste translated as savory or deliciousness that is distinct from the senses of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Read Full Post >