Food Labels can be off by 20 Percent


If you once were, or still are, a calorie-counter you may be surprised to know that food labels are allowed to be off by as much as 20%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Nutrition Labeling Guide notes that for calories, sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, food manufacturers are considered in compliance if they are within 20% of the value shown on the label.

For example, if you select a packaged snack that contains 100 calories – that snack could contain up to 120 calories and still be within federal labeling guidelines. A 150-calorie snack could contain…Read More »

HOW much sugar has been added to that yogurt? Nearly 7 teaspoons in a cup?!   


I went to a breakfast buffet this morning and like normal, I read the labels on two containers of yogurt. The one on the left is non-fat plain. The one on the right is full-fat honey flavor.

The one on the left has 6 grams of sugars in a cup. Those sugars come from milk’s naturally occurring sugars – lactose. The one on the right has a whopping 33 grams of sugars. If we pull out the 6 grams of naturally occurring sugars in one cup of plain yogurt, that means 27 grams of sugar has been added to the honey…Read More »

Q: Evidence is strong, do not consume sugar drinks. Is diet soda a better choice?


A recent Facebook discussion raised a good question. One of the Fat-Burners, Brad, that took my accelerated class asked me to comment.

Q:  Evidence against full-sugar drinks is strong, consistent and universally negative. Evidence against diet sodas is weak, inconsistent and more reputable sources always say, “more research is needed.” If you have to drink soda, diet is probably the better choice. Is this true?

A: Great question! With any food study, there are always confounding factors. What I mean by that is when people consume any artificial sweetener (AS) there is variation in which sweetener is used in the study…Read More »

Sugar increases non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


People that consume little to no alcohol can still get fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term for a range of conditions that result in too much fat stored in liver cells. One of the most serious forms of the disease is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis marked by liver inflammation that can progress to scarring and irreversible damage. At the most serious stage, steatohepatitis can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.

In a University of Surrey study, researchers looked at two groups of men – one group with low levels of liver fat and a second group that had…Read More »

Blood sugar is a direct response to what you eat – eating sugar spikes blood sugar




Did you know that the foods you eat have a metabolic and hormonal effect on your body?

These effects change depending on the macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat, protein) mix of what you put in your mouth. For this column, let’s consider each macronutrient in isolation of the others. In other words, what happens if you eat something that is 100% fat?

If you look at the illustration picture, you can see that if you consume a food that is 100% fat, the result is very little effect on blood sugar. If you eat a food that is 100% protein, there is a slight…Read More »

What are the health benefits of drinking hydrogenated water?

Great questions from Jan R. – “What are the health benefits of drinking hydrogenated water? And, do you recommend it?”

I have to say I had not heard of hydrogenated water before Jan asked about it – so I had to do some digging.

Hydrogenated water

Hydrogenated water or “hydro-water” has a greater concentration of hydrogen (as you might expect) than regular water. Hydrogen is infused into the water by purchase (you buy it ready-made), tablet or a machine that does it for you.

If you purchase it already made, it’s roughly $3 per 11-ounce container. The tablets run about a buck…Read More »

Is snacking required in order to lose weight on the Fat-Burning Machine plan?

Q.  Hey Gale! I am loving the Fat-Burning Machine plan. Thank you so much for helping me see a way of eating that can last a lifetime. (I know you call it a “diet” but it is a new lifestyle for me!) I’ve only been following the plan for three weeks and I’ve lost 6 pounds, I’m not hungry and I’m sleeping better.

In the book you recommend breakfast, lunch and two snacks. As I’ve become a Fat-Burning Machine (yay!)  I sometimes don’t feel like a snack. Because I’m having success, I’m afraid to cut it out. Is snacking…Read More »

Danger! BLTs at Meal Preparation Time

I’ve written about BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes) in the past and they are covered in the book. One of the most dangerous times – high risk for BLTs –  for people that prepare food is at meal preparation time. It is incredibly easy for some people to consume an entire meal before the meal, by just “tasting” the food being prepared.

“Just want to be sure it is seasoned correctly and tastes good.”

Avoid this trap by allowing yourself no more than two samples, measuring less than a teaspoon.

That means zero BLTs is okay.

 …Read More »

What is the best yogurt?

Great questions from Pam. “What is your recommendation on yogurt? Coconut milk? Sheep/goat? Greek? What should I be looking for on the labels?”

My personal preference is Fage, Greek Total (full fat) plain yogurt. You can select the 2% if the taste is too rich for you. Some people like the taste/consistency of other brands. (Some are more sour and thinner consistency.)

What to look for on the label? Aim for the absolute minimum number of ingredients. On the Fage ingredient label is Milk, Cream and Live Cultures – that’s it. No list of chemicals, no added sugars, no artificial…Read More »