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 180 calories. A 200 calorie snack could be up to 240 calories and so on.
If you are a person that takes calorie-counting at face value, you could be eating 20% more than you thought – every day. Let’s say you were aiming to eat 2,200 calories every day. If you were eating 20% more every single day, that means you’re consuming 440 more calories than you thought. Your daily calories are more like 2,640 rather than 2,200. Wow!
This is just one more reason why Fat-Burning Machine students don’t count calories.
We are more concerned with the quality of food and how it affects hormones and learning to estimate serving sizes. More on these items in upcoming columns.