The Myth of ''Light'' Foods…

By Mark Daniel


Members - you have seen this already since it is an excerpt from the book. However, it should be a good reminder of one of the traps awaiting us and our children when trying to eat healthy.


Before reading this section, please keep in mind that the program is not about counting calories. That being said, there will be times when you're faced with a decision about what dressing to put on your child's salad, or what kind of sandwich spread to put on her wrap. A word of caution – ''light'' doesn't mean much and ''low-fat'' can be misleading. For example, a 64 oz. monster-sized soft-drink at your local convenience store has no fat. In this case you do need to pay attention to calories. That will always be your safest bet.


Below are examples of some foods, dressings, and spreads and their calories per serving size. Take a look, you might be surprised!


Item                                                           Serving Size            Calories

Mayonnaise                                                   2 tbsp               200 Calories

Light Mayonnaise                                           2 tbsp               90 Calories

Fat Free Mayo                                               2 tbsp               20 Calories

''Grey Poupon''                                               1 tsp                 5 Calories

Ketchup                                                         2 tbsp               28 Calories

Mustard                                                         2 tbsp               0 Calories

Ranch                                                            2 tbsp               148 Calories

''Fat Free'' Ranch                                           2 tbsp               48 Calories

Kraft Light Done Right! Ranch Dressing         2 tbsp               77 Calories

Kraft Light Done Right! Italian Dressing          2 tbsp               53 Calories

Kraft Free Fat Free Italian Dressing                2 tbsp               20 Calories

Reduced Fat Sour Cream                                2 tbsp               40 Calories

Baked Tostitos Chips                                      7 chips              140 Calories

Reduced Fat Wheat Thins                               1 ounce             130 Calories

Kraft Cheez Whiz Light                                  2 tbsp               75 Calories

Kraft Miracle Whip Light                                2 tbsp               74 Calories

Light Vanilla Ice Cream                                  3.5 oz.              107 Calories

Nature Valley Low Fat Fruit Granola               2/3 cup             192 Calories

Kellogg's Low Fat Strawberry Pop Tarts         1 pastry            192 Calories

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt with Nonfat Milk      1 cup                199 Calories

Velveeta ''Light''                                            1 oz                  60 Calories

Reduced Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies              31g                   140 Calories

Reduced Fat Ritz                                            15g                   70 Calories

Low Fat Yogurt                                             8 oz.                 240 Calories

Fat Free Cream Cheese                                  2 tbsp               30 Calories

What does this mean? Don't be fooled by words like ''light'' or ''low-fat.'' Be sure to read the nutrition labels. Find the calories per serving, then think about how many servings you really use at a time (one tablespoon? two?) to determine how many calories these foods really supply to your diet. Extra calories have a way of sneaking into your diet and foiling your weight loss efforts. This is one way you can keep them under control!