Confused by all the mixed messages? Hungry Girl is here to set the record straight...
Zero calorie butter spray has calories.
If you use the recommended "serving size" (a couple of sprays), this stuff is fat and calorie free, but when you use a more realistic portion, the calories and fat rack up. The average serving (15-25 sprays) contains about 20 calories and 2 grams of fat. The more you spray, the more calories and fat you add. The numbers are still fairly low, but this butter substitute certainly isn't calorie free.
Calling something "light" doesn't mean it's healthy.
In order for something to be labeled "lite" or "light," the FDA requires that it contain 1/3 fewer calories or half the fat of the regular version. It doesn't, however, take size into account. For example, a Milky Way Lite bar is essentially a smaller version of their regular Milky Way bar. The ingredients are basically the same. Tricky stuff!
Serving sizes are often unrealistic. Are there really 16 servings in that box of cereal? Two servings in that small can of soup? Five servings in that teeny tiny chocolate bar? Um, not a chance. However, companies hope you won't figure out that you have to multiply the calories, carbs, etc. by the number of serving sizes, to get accurate nutritional information. To get more realistic numbers, multiply all nutritionals by the number of servings something supposedly has. That will tell you how many calories, etc. are in the entire package. Then divide by the actual number of servings you believe are really in the package. Warning: The results may be upsetting!
Low carb or no carb doesn't necessarily mean diet-friendly. Just because something has few carbs doesn't mean it won't cause you to gain weight. There's lots of misleading information and deceptive "diet foods" out there. The low carb cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory is a perfect example. According to restaurant reps, it has 610 calories and 57 grams of fat per piece. Not a diet-friendly food, no matter how you slice it.
HUNGRY GIRL TIP!
Frozen yogurt isn't always better for your diet than ice cream. Take Ben & Jerry's Phish Food for example. It has 230 calories, 5 grams of fat and 42 carbs per 1/2 cup. You're better off with an ice cream cone from McDonald's. It has 150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 23 carbs. Read labels carefully.
CHEW ON THIS: Today, July 30th, is National Cheesecake Day. Make a diet-friendly version of a cheesecake dessert at home, using reduced fat ricotta, Splenda and some natural fruit jam!
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