Tyler Robbins Fitness

Tyler Robbins has his B.Sc. in Biochemistry: Pre-Medical, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), is certified through USA Weightlifting, and a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer.

Food Label Claims Part 2

In a previous post, I detailed some common grocery store food label gimmicks that companies try to cash-in on, so today we are going to look at some more common themes when it comes to product labels.

"High Source of Fiber"/"High Fiber"

What does it mean?
Generally means that the product contains 4 grams of fiber or more per serving

What to watch out for
Once again, keep an eye on those recommended serving sizes in the Nutrition Facts label on the package. To reach the listed amount of fiber you will need to consume the product's recommended serving size which may mean you are also ingesting a high amount of sugar, carbohydrates, fats, salt, etc. The average adult should be aiming for 25-35g of fiber per day, but many people are not coming close to that!

"Source of..." (ex: "Source of Magnesium")

What does it mean?
Generally this means 5% or more of the recommended daily intake of the intended nutrient.

What to watch out for
If you have been told that you are deficient of a specific nutrient, then you may be more prone to looking for it on packaging. Keep in mind that most people reach their daily recommended nutrient levels by eating a balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of water, and can be topped off with a general multivitamin. If, however, you are looking to boost your levels of something in particular, make sure you are not too blinded by the fact that a certain food product may actually be worse for you. For example, you may even see a "high in calcium" label on a sugary cookie package because the milk chocolate chips in the cookies contain calcium.

"Source of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids"/"Source of Omega-3 Polyunsaturates"

What does it mean?
This is generally seen on products that contain 0.2g or more of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids per serving.

What to watch out for
Omega-3's have a slew of health benefits, but can be derived from a number of sources such as plant omega-3's called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is great, but the animal-oil derived docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are more heart-friendly. If you don't like fish, or are weary about levels of mercury, look into fish oil supplements that can also get the job done!

"No Artificial Flavors"

What does it mean?
All flavors must be derived from whole natural foods from a plant or animal source.

What to watch out for
This claim on packaging is usually pretty legit, just keep in  mind that natural sources are not necessarily always making the product better. For example, this is becoming increasingly more and more popular on candy packaging but does not make candy healthier for you.

-Tyler Robbins
B.Sc. PTS