View Poll Results: How often (prior to buying) do you study nutrition facts labels?

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  • Always

    16 34.78%
  • Frequently

    12 26.09%
  • Sometimes

    16 34.78%
  • Never

    2 4.35%
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  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Question Nutrition Facts Labels - Do You Read Them?
    So, how often do we examine those prior to purchasing?

    Geno

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I didn't used to pay that much attention but upon reading some articles about possible side effects of Aspartame and High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I'll be more careful.
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  3. #3
    Member reneton's Avatar
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    Sometimes, not very often though.

  4. #4
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    I always read the ingredients before I buy food. I don't eat anything with artificial ingredients or high fructose corn syrup and I haven't for 20 years.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    For over 13 months now, it's amazing what is in some of this stuff.

    Labels claiming low fat, low cal just aren't true!

    Did you know honey roasted peanuts have less calories than regular peanuts? How odd is that?
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  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I sometimes read them for amusement while I'm eating the food.
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    More and more often.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  8. #8
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Didn't know good Vodka had labels on the side of the bottle...

    If I am eating something new and the package is nearby I may read it. Occasionally I am a bit surprised by what I see and a couple of times it did make me refrain from eating any more of that product. So, I guess that's why I never looked to see if there was a label on a Vodka bottle.
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  9. #9
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    I do check nutrition facts for many products that I buy -- I was in Trader Joe's this morning and made some choices base on the carb and total-fat data; I've also been looking at fiber content, but lately I haven't focused on saturated fat (though I certainly should).

    I often notice myself being "tricked" by portion-size manipulation: two different brands of essentially identical products will use different "serving sizes" so that (for example) product A shows 10g fat and 8g carbs for a one-ounce serving, while product B shows 19g fat and 15g carbs for a two-ounce serving. Many consumers (me included) will choose product A because it "seems" to have half the calories and fat, but in fact product B is very slightly lower in fat & calories per ounce.

    I often "just say no" and refuse to buy a product if I see a package that uses an obviously absurd "serving size," such as an unquestionably-single-serving package that lists nutrition facts based on the assumption that it's actually two servings.

    Haiko wrote: > "Did you know honey roasted peanuts have less calories than regular peanuts? How odd is that?" <

    I did notice the discrepancy and I was very, very confused, several years ago. I thought honey-roasted peanuts list more carbs but less FAT than regular peanuts (because adding the pure-carb honey to the peanuts decreases the fat percentage per ounce consumed).

    I just tried to check and compare data, but of course everything uses a different "serving size" (146g, 144g, 28g, 1g) and it's hard to know what to compare a honey-roasted peanut to -- raw? oil-roasted? dry-roasted? By any measure, I think honey-roasted peanuts are "worse for me."

    But it doesn't really matter to me -- if I have honey-roasted peanuts at hand, I will eat the entire container in a day, so I just can't have them around at all. In contrast, I've been working on a huge bag of unsalted peanuts in the shell for weeks.

    Yes, I did see a nutrition label claiming that the serving size for peanuts was 1 gram. The 1-gram serving size has 0g calories and 0g fat, which sounds good until you realize that they round these to the half-gram, so that "0" could actually mean 0.24 grams. (I think one gram of pure fat would be reported as having 0g fat, even though it's 100% fat.)

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I always just multiply the stats by the number of servings, because I know I'll probably eat the whole bag.
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    Here's one that blew me away recently. We very seldom have KFC, but on a recent road trip we decided to blow all of our allowed bad fat grams on one lunch.

    Forget the bad news in the Extra Crispy Chicken. Forget the bad carbs in the bisquit. The honey packet has this good news: It's not honey - it's high fructose corn syrup!

    I hope God seats them directly between 2 really, really fat people in Heck.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager sunnypi's Avatar
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    I check them all the time - I have food allergies so I get to. Taught me crazy amounts of stuff about what goes into "food". Made me switch a few things to organic, and I now make and freeze my own 'ready meals'...

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I rarely look at them. When I do, it's usually to get proof of some assertion I've made about the food (usually that it's actually junk despite its claims of healthiness). My mother would be a lot more prone to believing front-of-box claims than me, and I had to teach her to ignore all marketing and read the Nutrition Facts label to find the actually healthy stuff. She's trying to eat healthy, and had a few surprises (like *gaining* weight) when first looking for "lower calorie" stuff. Thanks to the labels, I was able to prove that I wasn't just being sarcastic when I said that a term like "lowER" (rather than plain old "low") merely means, "lower than our original calorie-laden recipe!!!"

    As for the stuff *I* eat, the only time I give it a second look is when I notice that every time I eat some particular thing, I end up drinking a lot more water. So then I want to see just how much of a salt mine they put in it. And if the stuff has made me extremely thirsty, I know it's going to end up showing that there's tons of salt--sometimes nearly a gram per serving! And like others have mentioned, one "serving" is usually not what's actually eaten.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMoore
    It's not honey - it's high fructose corn syrup!
    I always knew that KFC "honey" was some kind of cheap inedible faux-honey, just by the taste of it. But I didn't expect that it was actually 100% HF corn syrup!

    While I hadn't checked exactly what they make that from (I just knew I didn't like it when I tasted it, so I don't use any), I can report for sure that McDonald's, amazingly enough, uses REAL honey.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    While I hadn't checked exactly what they make that from (I just knew I didn't like it when I tasted it, so I don't use any), I can report for sure that McDonald's, amazingly enough, uses REAL honey.
    Probably to make up for the fact that the fish in a filet-o-fish is mostly chicken.
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  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Nutrition Facts Labels - Do You Read Them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
    So, how often do we examine those prior to purchasing?Geno




    I voted for "Sometimes", because lately I no longer trust 100%, what I hear on the news about any product or ingredients on "A" product.

    What I normally really check and care lately, is the expiration date. But I had hear that the expiration date sometimes is manipulated too, But it's really a gamble out there, on what is really good for you, or what is really good for the one's telling the latest new discovery, and, or those selling those products.

    Side note: What is really good or bad for your health if you follow the latest new discovery trend?

    Some Examples: (From the top, not from the regular consumer people.)

    Good or Bad for you?

    Meat - You need the protein, etc, to be healthy, or You may die from meat hormones, or cow disease?
    Coffe - Will keep you alert and relax, or will make you suffer from hyperactivity, or worse?
    Wine - Is it really good for your heart and overall well being, or can it burn your liver, make you an alcoholic, or worse?

    Sodas - Do you like to enjoy the Real Thing like Coca~Cola, or do you drink the diet sodas with artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Saccharin, etc, just because you don't want to gain weight?

    Blue Pills - Would you have a great time, or would you die from a heart attack during the act?

    Cellphones - Would you have the freedom of communication on the move, or would you get cancer of the ear?

    SO!

    Nutrition Facts Labels - Do you really want to live your life according to what some Nutrition Facts Labels said (because money talks), or do you really want to live your life according what ever make sense, make you happy, and give you less stress?

    Btw, when you eventually die of old age, or otherwise, regardless of religious belief. Would you like to be buried, cremated, put out to the sea, or donate your body to science? ------ (What ever way you respond, when you're gone, you're gone, so you can't complain later.)

    Life is too short to worry about the little details!

    Disclaimer: (If I am old enough to vote on this poll, I deserve the right to rant and make fun of the facts of life the way I see it.)

    If you eat like a pig, you might die like a cow! (But look at the bright side, they would have to get more people to carry your dead body, so you would have more people at you funeral.)

  16. #16
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    I glance at them. I like reading the ingredients. You need a Doctorate in chemistry to understand some of the stuff we eat. You'd be surprised what you find in "fresh" fish too.

  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore61103
    Forget the bad news in the Extra Crispy Chicken. Forget the bad carbs in the bisquit. The honey packet has this good news: It's not honey - it's high fructose corn syrup!
    I noticed that the last time I was at KFC (one that had all you can eat--even worse!!!), too. It does have honey (or was it "honey flavor"?), but it was mostly high fructose corn syrup. I worked at KFC years ago, and I think their honey really was honey back then.
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  18. #18
    Probably to make up for the fact that the fish in a filet-o-fish is mostly chicken
    LOL, and what about the potato paste in the ice cream and shakes to thicken them?!

    I'm vegetarian, so checking food labels has been second nature since I was old enough to buy my own food. It's amazing how many seemingly arb food items has animal derivatives, even Mars bars aren't immune. Food manufacturers are getting sneakier and sneakier as people start getting more and more aware of what they eat, so not only do you need to read the labels, you also need to read between the lines to really know what you're getting.

    But... at the end of the day, if your diet is 80%+ organic and healthy, a nice tasty bag of MSG flavoured crisps followed up with a divine BIG slab of calorie and fat laden chocolate probably would kill you. Especially if you're keeping fairly active.

    Just don't think about the fact that drinking one can of Coke would take about 30 minutes on the treadmill to burn.

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    This thread is getting to look like a collection of urban legends. Here is your dose of Needed Skepticism for the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steele
    Probably to make up for the fact that the fish in a filet-o-fish is mostly chicken.
    I know those had been tasting a lot better than they used to, but...I see only 3 possibilities for that statement: 1) You're joking, 2) McDonald's site is baldly lying, or 3) you've been hit with an Urban Legend!

    Quote Originally Posted by McDonald's Site, Ingredients Page
    http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_control...nts.index.html
    (Ingredients in a Fish Filet Sandwich)Fish Filet Patty, Regular Bun, Tartar Sauce, Pasteurized Process American Cheese

    (The Actual Fish Filet Patty):

    Fish filet (Hoki and/or Pollock), water, food starch-modified, yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, salt, whey, dextrose, dried yeast, sugar, sodium polyphosphate, potassium polyphosphate, cellulose gum, paprika and turmeric extract (color), natural flavors (plant source). Prepared in Vegetable Oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper). CONTAINS: FISH (HOKI OR POLLOCK), WHEAT AND MILK
    No chicken. Some of this weird sounding stuff -->dimethylpolysiloxane<-- but no chicken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rox Bradnick
    LOL, and what about the potato paste in the ice cream and shakes to thicken them?!
    Oh, come on. *Checks*

    Quote Originally Posted by McDonald's Site, same page as above
    Chocolate Triple ThickŪ Shake:
    Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate. CONTAINS: MILK. Chocolate Syrup: High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, cocoa (processed with alkali), natural (vegetable source) and artificial flavors, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative), vanillin (artificial flavor). May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.
    I don't see any of that, either. (I checked a few flavors.)

    Sheesh, with the fat and salt content of their stuff, there's no need to believe any urban legends if you want a reason not to eat it!

    Disclaimer: The ingredients were marked as "McDonald's USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items." So if you order the stuff outside of the USA, you may be getting something else

  20. #20
    I really did think I'd seen potato paste as an ingredient in a menu a few years back, but they may have changed that... or it may have been an urban legend.

    But... their ice cream these days sure looks pretty interesting:

    From the MacD site:
    Ice Cream Cone:
    Water, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), tapioca starch, corn starch, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate), salt, annatto (color), natural (plant source) and artificial flavor, caramel color, corn syrup, soy lecithin.
    Between the enriched flour and tapioca, and all the other stuff thrown in there, you only realise that there are NO dairy ingredients at all in the standard cones after you read it again, LOL.

    The good news is that the reduced fat ones at least have stuff like milk in them:

    From the MacD site:
    Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream:
    Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent
    no wonder home cooking looks and tastes different. I didn't even know you could add antifoaming agents!

  22. #22
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    From the MacD site:
    Ice Cream Cone:
    Water, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), tapioca starch, corn starch, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate), salt, annatto (color), natural (plant source) and artificial flavor, caramel color, corn syrup, soy lecithin.
    Rox, those are the ingredients for the ice cream cone, not the ice cream that goes in it.

  23. #23
    Member AdJumpCM's Avatar
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    I read the labels mostly to see what the vitamin/protein content is.

  24. #24
    Rox, those are the ingredients for the ice cream cone, not the ice cream that goes in it.
    Doh...!

    Rhea, doff as I feel for failing to notice the glaringly obvious 'cone' which should have been a give away, I guess at least now I know that their cones are in fact edible.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Network Rep JuliaS's Avatar
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    I always read the labels, at least if it's the first time I'm buying an item. Mostly I just need to know how many calories and fat are in it, although the sodium amounts can scare me into not buying something too.
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