This post was inspired by a heated discussion I had with an acquaintance. He informed me that store bought mayo was a healthy food and is fine to consume when trying to lose weight. Now, I agree mayo traditionally has two ingredients – egg whites and olive oil. But these days if you peruse the ingredients list it reads very differently.
My response was mayo is full of sugar and additives and that is not supportive of a weight loss plan. He quickly cut and paste a mayo nutrition label to show me the 0g of sugar.
Good move on his part because I never gave the Nutrition label any thought. When it comes to weight loss my approach is to always choose health first. Knowing that mayo has trans fat, sugar and additives is enough for me not to recommend it. So this was my comeback. I showed him the ingredients list. He was still not convinced because the nutrition label said zero sugar. He started throwing around buzz words FDA, WHO, RDA, plus the sugar is insignificant. This was not a discussion that I wanted to continue with. There is nothing I could have said to change his mind. Before I get to interpretation nutrition labels let me address healthy eating:
When it comes to eating healthy and concomitantly weight loss there a 3 things I stress:
- You have to be healthy to lose weight
- The quality of your food matters just as much as the type of diet you are on. What that means is that you have to shift your attention not just to the Nutrition Facts label of whatever food you are eating, but also onto the ingredients.
- Not all healthy foods will produce weight loss because you may have a sensitive or allergy. If you are that healthy food will slow down your metabolism and impact your digestion.
NUTRITION LABEL DECODED:
- It’s important to pay attention to the serving size – You’ll notice that above 1 tablespoon = 1 serving so if you are eating larger portions or often through out the day then you are consuming a lot more than the label.
- Zero grams of sugar – Clearly it contains sugar because it is in the ingredients list. But how much. If a serving contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar it is expressed as ZERO. So if you are eating a lot of it then you are consuming a lot of sugar, like most North Americans who spent $2 Billion on mayo it’s not too hard to believe since its in salad dressings, sushi, sauces and more.