Food labelling

  Kate B 12:30 13 May 2007

I've just managed to shift the extra half-stone I was carrying around by my usual tactic of reducing my intake of sugar and carbohydrate, which has got me hot under the collar about how food is labelled and misrepresented.

We have so much sugar in bought foods that it's not surprising, as far as I can see, that people get heavy. More insidious, though, is the presentation of some things as "healthy". Special K's advertising campaign suggests that you can lose weight with it, yet it contains twice as much sugar as it did some 10 years ago. Cereal bars are promoted as healthy because they contain fruit and nuts, yet they're groaning with sugar. Worst of all, I think, is the low-fat range of stuff, which, if you read the back of the package, usually has double the carbohydrate (ie sugar) content of its full-fat counterpart.

Losing weight is hard enough, but when the food industry conspires to bamboozle you, it's a miracle anyone manages it at all. What do you think?

  Forum Editor 12:39 13 May 2007

Janet Street Porter's contribution on the recent Gordon Ramsay show. She demonstrated that products from the Duchy Originals range of 'organic' foods contained more sugar than, for instance, a McDonalds meal.

As nation we're addicted to sugar, and like so many things that turn out to be bad in life, the habit starts when we're young. Children aren't born craving sugar, we create that in them.

  johndrew 12:51 13 May 2007

A lot (maybe even the majority) of people rely on `dindins from tintins` (ready made meals) these days rather than buying the raw produce and cooking it themselves.

Manufacturers will add whatever ingredients help their processed foods taste good, look good and have a long shelf life. Many of these are not particularly healthy in the quantities used; hence the government advert currently being run on salt content.

The other major problem is the propensity for people to overeat. Our natural body (animal) reaction to seeing food is to eat it. Fine if we were still hunter gatherers where food was at a premium; but it`s not, it offered (almost literally) on a plate at every turn.

Moral: Cook your own meals from quality fresh produce, don`t eat more than you need and don`t snack. Oh yes, and a bit of exercise will always be of benefit.

  Forum Editor 13:46 13 May 2007

I'm a dead man, then. Laughing Cow cheese triangles and crackers have pride of place in the office fridge.

  sunny staines 13:46 13 May 2007

avoid processed food, and keep to fresh fruit, veg, fresh meat/fish that way you keep out a lot of the processed sugar and controll what you eat.

  Kate B 13:55 13 May 2007

It's a really good feeling to ditch sugar - it's quite hard to do but once done, I find my energy levels improve because I'm not on the sugar high-crash-and-burn rollercoaster.

Snacking is fine so long as you're careful about it - some people are grazers rather than those who prefer to sit down to a meal three times a day. It depends what you're snacking on.

  Forum Editor 14:02 13 May 2007

I like sugar in my coffee, and other naughty things.

  sunny staines 14:05 13 May 2007

to help weed people of milk based snacks like cheese, milk shakes, cream etc visit a very good web site full of facts re health problems re hormones in milk products work aread.

  spuds 14:08 13 May 2007

Show me a label, and possibly I would be like most people and wouldn't have a real clue as to the contents.

There is a debate going on at present, on how the major supermarkets are packaging their products with various coloured stickers, leading even further to the confusion.

The thing that most people may not realise, is that nearly all supermarkets have similar products coming from the same manufacturing source, and contain the same ingredients, but with different wrappers.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you look at it. I have a friend who manages a large manufacturing company, that supplies many of the big supermarkets and large wholesalers. The company are always making 'new' products containing various ingredients for the consumer, because this is what the consumer or marketeers want. I wonder why I always seem to end up being a freebie tester :O)

  Kate B 14:14 13 May 2007

If you're doing low-carb, dairy protein is something you end up having more of. I eat cheese and Greek yoghurt and still lose weight. The argument goes that protein is more filling, therefore you need less of it.

  sunny staines 14:40 13 May 2007

kb agree on that but try and avoid milk based stuff

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