Food News: Interpreting Food Labels

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When we are all in school, a grade of 93 was an A or a pretty good score.

However, if you use the score of 93% fat for meat or poultry, that does not equal an A for a heart healthy nutrition score. This is because 93% fat is by weight, not calories.

93% fat is not low in fat whether you choose chicken, turkey or beef. And did you know that the calories, fat and saturated fat for beef, chicken and turkey is virtu- ally all the same with this grade which is also called 93/7?

Check out the stats for 4 ounces which end up having almost half the calories from fat (45%):

93% Lean Ground:

Chicken 150 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat

Turkey 150 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat

Beef 160 calories, 8 g fat, 3.2 g sat fat

8 g is equal to 72 calories from fat or about 45% total calories from fat with these products. If you choose extra lean beef you will cut this amount of fat from 45% to 33%:

Extra Lean Ground Beef 95/5:

137 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g satu- rated fat

BUT if you use ground turkey or chicken BREAST meat you will reduce the calories and fat significantly.

Ground turkey or chicken breast meat that is 99% fat free:

120 calories, 1 g fat, .5 g sat fat

Source: Manufacturer’s data, USDA.

Screen shot 2012 10 09 at 11.28.51 AM Food News: Interpreting Food LabelsFMI:

Jennie-O turkey products are listed by sodium content on their website which is enlighten- ing: Jennieo.com

Butterball lists the nutrition information for all products as well: butterball.com

Calorieking.com is a great database for beef nutrition information, too.

Think About Cheese Too!

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate that cheese is one of the highest sources of saturated fat in the American Diet. It is in many favorite foods from pizza to sandwiches to cheeseburgers.

Here are ways to reduce your cheese consumption:

• Buy cheese already shredded or shred and freeze yourself. This helps you use less.

• Freeze shredded cheese. This helps the cheese stay fresher and it makes it easier to sprinkle less cheese on whatever you are making.

• Swiss cheese is low in sodium and since it has a strong flavor you can use less. Goat cheese is also lower in sodium and saturated fat and is a good treat to use sparingly in salads and on pizza.

• Make your own pizza. Look for premade crusts that are low in sodium. Or invest in a breadmaker so you can easily make your own dough. Use low sodium sauce and go light on the cheese.

• Make better choices when dining out and be aware that cheesy items are much higher in saturated fat.

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