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Hungry Girl Today: 1.20.10

ASK HUNGRY GIRL




Howdy, HG!

I have been hearing a lot lately that the nutritional facts on many food labels
at the supermarket are OFF by around 15% and that it's totally LEGAL. I am
so upset and feel betrayed (and defeated). How can we trust the labels of
anything we eat? What do we do, Hungry Girl?

Gloomy in Gainesville


Dear Gloomy,

As long-time HG subscribers know (I have been writing about this for ages),
the stats on food labels can LEGALLY be off by as much as 20%. It's not
great news, but it's not HORRIBLE news either. While some foods have more
calories, fat, etc., than the labels say, some have less. Plus, we're way better
off knowing this information than NOT knowing it. Think about it... Now that
you're aware that packaged foods could have more calories than the labels
say, you can make adjustments to account for it. Here are a few tips:

1. If you count calories, pad your numbers a bit. What I mean by "pad your
numbers" is that you can round up -- if something says it has 280 calories,
count it as 300. Small changes totally make a difference.

2. If something tastes too good to be true (especially if it's from a small
mom-and-pop company), it may very well be -- so don't kid yourself. If you
start eating some new treat regularly, and then you notice extra pounds
creeping on when they shouldn't be, you might wanna ditch that snack or
count extra calories for it.

3. The nutritional stats for all types of food -- even fruit and lean protein --
vary due to size and weight. So weigh your food once in a while to see if the
actual weight matches the given or assumed amount.

The bottom line is that no matter how hard we try to pin numbers down,
they're always going to be a little off. It won't help to become outraged. Just
keep those tips in mind, and you should be fine!







Hungry Girl,

I love hot cocoa. What's the best kind, in your opinion, and how do you
prepare it?

Loco for Cocoa



Dear Loco for Cocoa,

I like hot cocoa a lot! I usually stick with any diet hot cocoa mix that has 25
calories per packet. The most readily available one is Swiss Miss Diet Hot
Cocoa Mix, but there are others that are great, too. I don't like lame 6-oz.
cups of cocoa (too small!), but I do like a lot of flavor. So sometimes, for a
little fun, I'll add a bit more water and toss in some other things as well:
cocoa powder (a teaspoon or two), a packet of Splenda, flavored extract
(yay, coconut!), instant coffee, fat-free or sugar-free powdered creamer,
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, mini chocolate chips (melted in for a
chocolate boost!), etc. Topping it off with mini marshmallows or a little Fat
Free Reddi-wip is a great idea, too. Play around with your own concoctions,
or try some of our recipes: Gimme S'mores Hot Cocoa, Sweet 'n Salty
Caramel Cocoa, That's Hazel-NUTS! Cocoa Supreme, and White Hot Mint
Mocha Cocoa. Those are all amazing. ENJOY!!!



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--
HG News You Can Use! Love 100-calorie chocolate treats AND bargains?!
Don't miss out on our Buy-One-Get-One-Free Chocolate Craving
SMACKDOWN! Vita special... expiring TONIGHT (1/20/10) at midnight! Click
NOW for details!

CHEW ON THIS:
This month, a.k.a. January, is National Soup Month. Do NOT miss three
fantastic new no-guilt soup recipes, coming up tomorrow!

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