# How US labeling is decieving

Posts: 48,401 Member
I mentioned this a long time ago but can't find the thread on it. But this is how US labeling can be deceptive.

Say you eat a serving of a food and it's 100 calories with just 6 grams of fat. Doesn't look like much fat right? But using a simple formula, you can find out what percentage of that serving is fat.

So you take the grams of fat and multiply it by 9 (9 calories of fat for every gram) then divide it by the calories of the serving.

6x9= 54
54 divided by 100= 54% of the serving is fat

Now ideally you don't want to eat usually over 20% of a serving in fat (unless it's fat itself), but because the amount of grams throws a lot of people off, they may think they aren't eating much fat.

Another is cooking spray. Because in labeling, if there isn't a certain amount of fat in a serving, it can be claimed as zero. But cooking spray is all fat. Lol, if you look at how many serving are in a can, it may say over 400. That's for a .3 second spray for a serving. Who the hell sprays for .3 seconds on a pan? And if it say 0 calories per spray, some could spray for 5 seconds to coat the pan. The total calories in a full can of cooking spray could be as high as 900 calories.

Just something I think everyone should know about how the labeling on foods can totally throw off what you may think you are consuming in macros. While TOTAL CALORIES count overall, the percentage of what you eat in macros may matter for some.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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## Replies

• Posts: 1,381 Member
I try to use the shortest amount of cooking spray that I need, but I still have no idea how many calories it may be. I only need it once or twice a week so it's not going to throw me off too much, given all the other estimates and inaccuracies in this tracking and TDEE estimation process.
• Posts: 7,266 Member
Isn’t it amazing that that avocado can literally suck fat out of the ground? I think I’ll create a fat-sucking avocado poultice and market it on TikTok.
• Posts: 9,728 Member
edited July 2023
Yeah, even the cooking spray argument doesn't hold much water either. For example your spraying a sheet pan and placing 36 shrimp on it. Lets say it takes 3 or 4 seconds, and I'll exaggerate, and give the spray a value of 50 calories. First of all, only a small percentage of the total area of the shrimp is coming into the contact with the cooking spray and if we say a portion is 6 shrimp and if all the actual cooking spray was absorbed, which it wouldn't be in this example, that's 8 calories, and I'm being generous. Yes collectively the calories add up just not with individual use examples. Sorry niner I'm going to have to disagree with you on your post. imo. cheers.
• Posts: 8,465 Member
Please note that he said the "entire can" is 900 calories, not a single 5-second spray. So, work the math a bit more...

400 servings x 0.3 seconds per serving = 120 seconds of spray per can
900 calories per can / 120 seconds per can = 7.5 calories per second sprayed

So in your example, @neanderthin, of 3-4 seconds spray, you would have sprayed out roughly 30 calories. Your example perfectly illustrates how only a portion of your food comes into contact with the spray, therefore your actual consumption of spray-calories is quite low. But I just wanted to point out that @ninerbuff's and your posts were not in conflict.
• Posts: 1,434 Member
edited July 2023
This goes for pet food too btw. I adopted a cat at the end of last year who had been severely neglected and was malnourished. I started working on getting him back up to a healthy weight. The cat food manufacturers all recommend feeding about 3.5-4 cans of food a day to a cat of his size. (It's printed right on the can.) So I worked my way up to that amount and he gained weight nicely.

We had monthly vet appointments for another health issue. In March the vet and I agreed that kitty was now at a good weight, so I cut back on the food to where he was getting about 3 cans a day. In April he was a little heavier than I wanted him to be, but the vet felt that since he's 15 and has kidney disease, it's better for him to be a little heavier rather than too skinny. I reduced his food to about 2.5 cans a day. In May the vet was like, well he really shouldn't be gaining any more at this point. I cut back to 2 cans a day. In June he had gained weight again! WTF! The vet gave me an printed estimate for the amount of calories my cat should be eating... which comes out to about 1.5 cans a day! Ridiculous. So now the cat and I are working on our weight loss together, lol
• Posts: 31,433 Member
Spray oils: Want more accuracy?

Put the can/bottle on the food scale.
Turn the scale on or tare/zero it. Ideally, set it on grams.
Take the can off the scale and spray however much you want to use.
Put the cane back on the scale.
Read the negative number. It's how much oil you took out of the can.
Log that number of grams of the type of oil that was in the can.
Simple. Quick.

For me, depending on what I am spraying - always lightly - it can be anything from 2 to 15 grams, usually the lower half of that range because I'm cooking for one. It's not a number of calories I want to ignore, personally. (YMMV.)

Especially when it's so easy to be reasonably accurate.
• Posts: 8,465 Member
Do you weigh a skillet filled with cooking oil both before and after frying chicken, divided by the number of pieces of chicken cooked, in order to estimate how much oil you personally consumed?
• Posts: 1,462 Member
Yeah, even the cooking spray argument doesn't hold much water either. For example your spraying a sheet pan and placing 36 shrimp on it. Lets say it takes 3 or 4 seconds, and I'll exaggerate, and give the spray a value of 50 calories. First of all, only a small percentage of the total area of the shrimp is coming into the contact with the cooking spray and if we say a portion is 6 shrimp and if all the actual cooking spray was absorbed, which it wouldn't be in this example, that's 8 calories, and I'm being generous. Yes collectively the calories add up just not with individual use examples. Sorry niner I'm going to have to disagree with you on your post. imo. cheers.

I think you're both right. It's deceptive that they're allowed to claim "0 calories" on these sprays due to the serving size. But totally agree that cooking spray is not generally enough calories to freak out about either. It's the point that it's a pretty deceptive practice.
• Posts: 1,227 Member
sollyn23l2 wrote: »
Yeah, even the cooking spray argument doesn't hold much water either. For example your spraying a sheet pan and placing 36 shrimp on it. Lets say it takes 3 or 4 seconds, and I'll exaggerate, and give the spray a value of 50 calories. First of all, only a small percentage of the total area of the shrimp is coming into the contact with the cooking spray and if we say a portion is 6 shrimp and if all the actual cooking spray was absorbed, which it wouldn't be in this example, that's 8 calories, and I'm being generous. Yes collectively the calories add up just not with individual use examples. Sorry niner I'm going to have to disagree with you on your post. imo. cheers.

I think you're both right. It's deceptive that they're allowed to claim "0 calories" on these sprays due to the serving size. But totally agree that cooking spray is not generally enough calories to freak out about either. It's the point that it's a pretty deceptive practice.

"Deceptive" implies that they had a choice in determining the serving size. They don't - it is specified by FDA as 0.25g for those types of products. Whether it is 1/4, 1/3, etc of a second spray just depends on their particular spray mechanism to deliver that amount of product. The label rounding rules that FDA has set up are the same for all products so a 0.25g serving size will round to 0g fat every time.

• Posts: 5,960 Member
nossmf wrote: »
Do you weigh a skillet filled with cooking oil both before and after frying chicken, divided by the number of pieces of chicken cooked, in order to estimate how much oil you personally consumed?

The juices from the meat would skew the results, towards underestimating?
Personally, I weigh how much oil I put in the pan and log the same proportion of oil as the proportion of meat I ate. In case there is a lot of oil left, I might halve that number, for example. But I rather err on the side of overestimating than underestimating.
• Posts: 9,728 Member
nossmf wrote: »
Please note that he said the "entire can" is 900 calories, not a single 5-second spray. So, work the math a bit more...

400 servings x 0.3 seconds per serving = 120 seconds of spray per can
900 calories per can / 120 seconds per can = 7.5 calories per second sprayed

So in your example, @neanderthin, of 3-4 seconds spray, you would have sprayed out roughly 30 calories. Your example perfectly illustrates how only a portion of your food comes into contact with the spray, therefore your actual consumption of spray-calories is quite low. But I just wanted to point out that @ninerbuff's and your posts were not in conflict.

Yes, your right they're not in conflict. I jumped the gun there and was probably responding to spray oils are all fat. Cheers.
• Posts: 7,266 Member
nossmf wrote: »
Do you weigh a skillet filled with cooking oil both before and after frying chicken, divided by the number of pieces of chicken cooked, in order to estimate how much oil you personally consumed?

Golly. You’ve made me think.

I haven’t cooked like that since starting weight loss, and I was the 2-Quart Canola Queen of Deep Frying. Always had a roll of Bounty handy to drain fried food on “because it was healthier that way”. 😂

These days, I end up throwing out canola and crisco because they go rancid before I can make a dent in the containers. Even olive oil takes a year or two to use a medium sized bottle.

Reloading a tablespoon in my Misto sprayer can keep me for several weeks.

Like @AnnPT77 I put it on the scale before and after spraying. I usually use 2-6 grams, depending on what I’m spraying, and that’s spread over 2-4 servings, too.

Wow. That’s a massive change. I was buying the giant sized Wesson jugs at least once a week not so long ago. 😱
• Posts: 31,433 Member
nossmf wrote: »
Do you weigh a skillet filled with cooking oil both before and after frying chicken, divided by the number of pieces of chicken cooked, in order to estimate how much oil you personally consumed?

If you're asking me, I count all the oil I put in a skillet when frying, but it's rare for me to fry more than one serving at a time (live alone, don't like repeat leftover meals).

I don't fry stuff in a bunch of oil (ever, pretty much), and I certainly don't fry chicken. (I haven't eaten chicken since 1974 ). The skillet I use, usually it takes 3-6 grams of oil (poured, not misted) for the things I do fry.

I mostly prefer to count everything on autopilot, not devote any mental bandwidth to what's worth weighing/counting or not. If it were a thought exercise every time, I'd forget more stuff.

If I fried things like chicken, I'd maybe use more oil sometimes . . . but maybe not, because what Springlering62 said.
• Posts: 48,401 Member
None of this logic makes sense and it's still 6g's of fat which is simply calculated as part of total fat consumed, easy peasy. Not sure where you got the idea that a portion of food has to have 20% or less of fat.
• 1/2 Avocado 80% fat
• 1 oz Cheddar 70% fat
• 100 g's salmon 75% fat
• 1 oz Chocolate 55% fat

Look at Jennie O Lean ground Turkey for example.

1 serving is 170 calories
8 grams of fat per serving

So 42% of that serving is fat

Doesn't sound that lean to me.

Point being that labeling can confuse people. Luckily we do have an app here that does count our total fat and calories. Again, I'm not disparaging against fat, just about how labeling can be deceptive to those that DON'T understand why they aren't losing weight even though they are reading labels.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 35+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

• Posts: 48,401 Member
There's also Starkist Canned tuna in spring water that depending on when it was canned will have discrepancy in fat grams. 2 identical cans but on can may have 1 gram of fat per serving while the other will have 8 grams. Apparently depending on the time of year the tuna is caught dictates how much fat is in the tuna.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 35+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

• Posts: 27,763 Member
Isn’t it amazing that that avocado can literally suck fat out of the ground? I think I’ll create a fat-sucking avocado poultice and market it on TikTok.
This goes for pet food too btw. I adopted a cat at the end of last year who had been severely neglected and was malnourished. I started working on getting him back up to a healthy weight. The cat food manufacturers all recommend feeding about 3.5-4 cans of food a day to a cat of his size. (It's printed right on the can.) So I worked my way up to that amount and he gained weight nicely.

We had monthly vet appointments for another health issue. In March the vet and I agreed that kitty was now at a good weight, so I cut back on the food to where he was getting about 3 cans a day. In April he was a little heavier than I wanted him to be, but the vet felt that since he's 15 and has kidney disease, it's better for him to be a little heavier rather than too skinny. I reduced his food to about 2.5 cans a day. In May the vet was like, well he really shouldn't be gaining any more at this point. I cut back to 2 cans a day. In June he had gained weight again! WTF! The vet gave me an printed estimate for the amount of calories my cat should be eating... which comes out to about 1.5 cans a day! Ridiculous. So now the cat and I are working on our weight loss together, lol

Thanks for being a cat rescuer! I am as well.

Speaking of cats AND avocados, when I was in Costa Rica, the wild cats there liked avocados. Those they could harvest themselves, once the ripe avocados fell to the ground. They needed human help to eat coconuts.
• Posts: 8,478 Member
ninerbuff wrote: »
None of this logic makes sense and it's still 6g's of fat which is simply calculated as part of total fat consumed, easy peasy. Not sure where you got the idea that a portion of food has to have 20% or less of fat.
• 1/2 Avocado 80% fat
• 1 oz Cheddar 70% fat
• 100 g's salmon 75% fat
• 1 oz Chocolate 55% fat

Look at Jennie O Lean ground Turkey for example.

1 serving is 170 calories
8 grams of fat per serving

So 42% of that serving is fat

Doesn't sound that lean to me.

Point being that labeling can confuse people. Luckily we do have an app here that does count our total fat and calories. Again, I'm not disparaging against fat, just about how labeling can be deceptive to those that DON'T understand why they aren't losing weight even though they are reading labels.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 35+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

re the bolded, the food gives the calories, 170. That is what is needed for weight loss so it is not deceptive.

If someone is tracking macros for nutrition or medical reasons that is stated in grams for all to see. The maths, if needed, is not difficult.

Would you prefer it if they gave the ?grams or ?oz = ?cals and do a percentage breakdown on the label?

The only macro I’ve ever counted is protein, by the gram not calorie.
We generally advise people by the gram for macros, not how many calories per lbs of lean body weight.

I aim for 80-100g protein, not 320-400cals.

Sorry, I think I’m either missing your point, or over/under thinking it Niner,

Cheers, h.