Today, I"m going to talk about nutrition information labels.
The FDA requires that most foods carry a label that accurately lists the nutritional content. The problem is, that while the information listed on this label is generally accurate, food manufacturers have found a way to 'lie without lying' on the labels. In other words, technically they are telling you the accurate nutritional content of the food, but it's worded in such a way that it 'lies' to you to make you think it has better nutritional content than it does.
Take for example, this 32 ounce bottle of PowerAde sitting on my desk. It shows that it has 60 calories per serving and 15 grams of sugar per serving. Not bad right? If you drink this bottle, you'll only have drank 60 calories right? Wrong! If you read a little farther, you'll see that it shows 4 servings per container. This means that to get those 60 calories, you'd have to drink only 1/4 of the bottle. How many people do you know that will actually measure out and drink 1/4 of a bottle of PowerAde? Noone, and the manufacturers of PowerAde know this. Since you are really taking in 4 servings of PowerAde in that one bottle, you have to multiply all the values shown on the label by 4. This means that it actually has 240 calories and 60 grams of sugar. This is considerably worse than you thought at first glance!
The fact is, they are technically giving you accurate measurements of the nutritional content, but in order to make it's nutritional content look better than it is, they are lowering the serving size to something that does not accurately portray how many people eat this food. This allows them to lie and tell the truth at the same time! You see this trick pulled everywhere! This is how food manufacturers deceive you into thinking you are eating something healthy when you are not. Take a close look at the nutrition label on a 'single serving' bag of chips. Now multiply the calories by the number of servings in the bag. This will tell you how many calories that bag of chips really is.
Once you understand this serving size trick, you start to realize just how much calories there are in things. Take Coca-Cola for instance. Eight ounces of Coca-Cola has 97 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates (i.e. sugar!). Now head on over to McDonalds and order that 32 ounce Coke with your meal. 32 / 8 = 4. That means the 32 ounce Coke is FOUR servings of Coke. So multiply the single serving values for Coke by 4. This means that the 32 ounce Coke actually has 388 calories and 108 grams of sugar! That Coke is starting to not look so healthy now, is it? Go one step farther. Head on over to the movie theater and order a 44 ounce Coke. Your calorie count has just jumped to 533 calories and your sugar count has just jumped to 148.5 grams of sugar! It would take 30 minutes of hard work on a treadmill to burn off that 44 ounces of Coke. Is it really worth 30 minutes of sweat for that bucket of Coke? I think not. By drinking this bucket of Coke, you have just set your plans to get in shape back by at least 1 day. That 1 day you just lost is the one day's worth of cardio that you'd have to do to burn off those 500 calories. You've also just thrown a ton of sugar into your mouth, leading to cavities and ugly yellow teeth. Switch to Diet Coke and your calorie count per serving drops to 1 calorie per serving. Or better yet, give up Coke entirely in favor of water. (0 calories, 0 sugar). Problem solved. Pepsi isn't any better. It has 100 calories per 8 ounce serving and about 27 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. The numbers are similar or worse for every other non-diet soda out there.
From now on, everytime you want to eat something multiply the calories per serving times the number of servings in the package. Now, is it really worth it to take in that many calories?