DID YOU KNOW… FDA Regulations require that “low fat” labeled foods have no more than 3 grams of fat per serving. The FDA requires that “reduced fat” foods contain at least 25% less fat than the original form. BOTH low fat and reduced fat options are not necessarily better for you, however, than the original form, because to boost flavor they often contain more sugar and/or salt.
So…what’s the mantra? READ YOUR LABELS…Read Your Labels…read your labels… (now whispered in your head as you drift off to sleep)…. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering ( www.lulasforlunch.com ) is not so much concerned with how much fat as what kind of fat, and overall wholesome nutritious, delicious FOOD!!
Warning: Lula’s Desserts are RARELY Low or Reduced Fat unless requested!!
The Grocery Guide…Misleading Labels Chapter 2 – Fruit
I’m sure after last week you’re now used to checking the food packaging labels for WHOLE grain vs. Multi Grain…now let’s move on to FRUIT. Did you know there are absolutely NO FDA requirements for the amount of whole fruit or what type of derivation of the whole fruit exists in a product?
A drop of fruit juice in a food product, for instance, enables the manufacturer to claim “Made with Real Fruit!” Though this seems ridiculous, it’s true. Fruit Extract qualifies, Fruit Juice qualifies…and a product containing more refined sugar than fruit qualifies as long as there’s a drop of fruit anything in the product.
So once again, the label tells the tale. You’re looking for the simple word “fruit”, or “apples” (or whatever fruit it’s supposed to contain) in the first 2 or 3 items on the label to ensure that the product is relatively wholesome. You still have to check the sugar grams etc., but at least you know you’re getting a bit of fiber and nutrients if one of the first 3 ingredients on the label is “fruit” without any other parenthesis or disclaimer. Since Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering ‘s ( www.lulasforlunch.com ) food is all scratch, you never have to worry about these issues when ordering – ALL of our ingredients are WHOLEsome. Look for next week’s entry on LOW FAT and REDUCED FAT.
The Grocery Guide…Misleading Labels Chapter 1 MultiGrain vs. Whole Grain
This series of entries hopes to find you reading your labels with better understanding, and keeping healthier for it! Sorry food manufacturers…but I need to expose the “conspiracy” to mislead consumers into believing they’re eating healthier than they really are. Let’s start with MULTIGRAIN … something I tell my clients all the time: This has nothing to do with eating whole grains, which are what matter in terms of lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar spikes (then crashes, obviously), etc..
Multigrain simply means that a product (cereal, bread, crackers etc) contains 2 or more grains – usually refined which removes all the good qualities from it like fiber and nutrients. You need to look for WHOLE GRAIN labels such as “whole oats, whole wheat” etc., listed in the first few ingredients. Half of your daily intake of grains should be WHOLE. This will keep you percolating smoothly.
Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering ( www.lulasforlunch.com ) has a big supply of different whole grains on hand to put in our wonderful breads, pastas, crusts, etcetera. Look for next week’s entry on FRUIT. Enjoy! – Lula
We all love the juicy sweet red ripe tomato straight from the garden, right? Well, did you know there are juicy sweet GREEN tomatoes as well as many other colors? Heirloom tomatoes are in vogue, and lucky us – we get to eat them! Below is an indicator (in general) of tomato colors and their flavor profiles.
In general, the RED and PURPLE colored variety of tomatoes are fuller flavored with more acidity and, some would say, a slightly “salty” taste. Better Boys and Beefsteaks are in this color group – we all know them. BUT>..when you’re at the farmer’s market, ask about the Cherokee Purple or Marmara – and see if one of your local farmers can supply you with some – or other alternatives of like taste.
YELLOW and ORANGE tomatoes are lovely, and a bit less acidic. Sometimes they’re described as sweet. Ask for Orange Strawberry or Pineapple! A Balsamic reduction is perfect and beautiful on these tomatoes – sharp and tangy with the sweetness of the tomatoes bursts in your mouth.
GREEN tomatoes are not always “unripe”!!! There are green varieties, such as the Green Zebra (one of my favorites) that are very complex – sharp, sweet, tangy, salty…and stunning on a plate!
Did you know there are even PINK and WHITE tomatoes? Translucent, very thin skin make these varieties delicate and sweet without bitterness. Harder to find – it’s still worth asking for a “Great White” or a “Rose de Berne” … your palate with thank you!!
Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering ‘s “Caprese Crostini” for your viewing pleasure…