View Full Version : Reading food labels - HELP!

04-07-2005, 09:41 PM
I have become a label reader And I am a little confused can anyone help? What I want to know is:

Because a label lists fat does it mean that its bad? Under the Total Fat they list grams and break it down by category saturated fat, trans fat, polyunsatured fat and monounsaturated fat. Now, I know trans fats are bad, bad, bad, but is all saturated fat bad? I was reading a protein bar label the other day and it had 7 grams of fat 5 g being saturated? I thought protein bars are suppose to be good for you. Also, poly/monounsaturated fats, are these bad for you? Or because it is "unsaturated" does that mean they are okay to consume?

Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a secret code when I am reading the ingredients on a label. Can anyone tell some "red flag" ingredents to watch out for?

Anything else I should know about reading labels?

Since I have been reading labels, I have come to find that a lot of the sugar free, fat free, healthy foods, etc. are not so good for you as they claim. Any help would be appriciated. :)

04-08-2005, 07:44 AM
Ideas about fats keep evolving.

"Conventional" wisdom says that the poly- and mono-s are the good fats and that all trans- and saturated fats are bad.

Less mainstream sources say that the mono-s are good . . . very good; poly-s are bad (just about as bad as transfats). Also not all saturated fats are bad (though the ones you find in your protein bar and just about any other processed food are probably not very good).

IMHO, protein bars are overly process and don't have very good quality ingredients - good, real food is just about always better. But as with most things, one needs to look at their entire eating plan, and what is doable, rather than one particular food item.