Mar 13, 2015

Wordology, Fat Free and Free Range

When the dangers of saturated and trans fat became popular headlines, the market was flooded with products that touted their fat-free status. They sometimes contained nearly as many calories as full-fat versions. “Just because it says it’s fat-free, doesn't mean you get a free ride,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix. “Packages could say it is fat free, but be loaded with sugar, and sugar-free products could be loaded with fat.” Check the label for calorie content, and compare it to the full-fat version.

Although a food label may say free range chicken, do not assume your bird was dancing around the farmer's field. The US Department of Agriculture does define the words free range, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access. “What it’s supposed to mean is that they are out running in a field,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, nutrition expert and author of Read It, Before You Eat It. “But what it really means is they just have exposure to the outdoors.”