June 17, 2014

Do You Get Caught in the Food Label Trap?

Don't lie, I used to think I was not, but now that I know what Big Food is doing, I seldom get caught anymore. When I do, my meter lets me know that I need to go back and carefully reread the label. That is no longer fun and it is easy to get angry when this happens. Also, don't get caught in the measuring differences between a dry measure and a liquid measure. My daughter and I had a good demonstration early on in my diabetes and I was right more than wrong, but it was still embarrassing to get fooled by the measuring cup.

Even more exasperating was emptying a few containers and discovering that the 10 servings listed on the label of a box was really closer to 18 servings by dry measure. Then we opened a couple of cans of vegetables and found out that the two and a half servings were closer to two servings for both vegetables. It is bad enough that the food industry is allowed to have up to a 20% discrepancy from actual, but we never could figure out the box and why that was so far off. I won't go into the ridiculous letter from the manufacturer.

If the recently proposed changes to the food label actually are more helpful, they are supposed to reflect what people actually eat. But how are they supposed to know what I eat, when I often don't know until I am ready to eat and have counted the carbohydrates. I attempt to stay under 100 grams of carbohydrates per day and generally about 80. This allows me to vary what I eat but to stay in what I term medium carb range.

I have long ago learned that measuring serves best for carb counting. Having a digital food scale with the tare feature also helps. There are a few occasions when guessing becomes a necessity, but I don't like it. My wife insists on eating out on occasion. That is when I make sure that most of the carby foods don't reach my plate.

Most of my friends guess more often than I do, but many are not overweight. Even James is only about five pounds over ideal weight and is slowly losing that. Some of them use their meters to determine the amount of insulin to inject and they are getting away with this and not adding weight.

I don't advise guesstimating as a habit as this can make it easier to overeat and help diabetes gain the upper hand.

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