TORONTO – Diet branded items and endorsed foods can be helpful to point you in the direction of healthy food options, but don’t bet your waistline on the items.
“Manufacturers often reduce fat by adding sugar or reduce sugar by adding fat,” according to Cara Rosenbloom, Registered Dietitian and President of Words to Eat by.
Nutritional panel information remains the best way to know if a product fits your dietary needs.
“We get a number of patients each year,” according to Dr. Mathew Capehorn, the clinical manager for the Rotherham Institute for Obesity, “that actually come in thinking that one of the sort of tactics they need to employ to lose weight is to focus on eating low fat foods.”
With that in mind, Dr. Capehorn had his team review a variety of low fat food options offered by a number of different brands and labels available in the United Kingdom including Weight Watchers products.
“Regrettably, unless you are very careful and start looking at food labels you can get caught out because one in 10 products actually had more calories than the regular fat alternatives,” Dr. Capehorn says.
Global News tried to reach Weight Watchers for an interview but did not receive a response.
Global News did an unofficial grocery store check and found that several Weight Watchers products offered lower calorie and lower fat items when compared to other popular brands available in Toronto, except in two cases.
Weight Watchers Chocolate Brownie had 130 calories in the 36 gram bar and 14 grams of sugar. Another major brand Brownie bar had 100 calories for the 25 gram bar and 10 grams of sugar.
A Weight Watcher endorsed brand of yogurt had 50 calories per 100 gram container and 4 grams of sugar. A similar product offers buyers 30 calories per 100 grams and one gram of sugar.
As a part of Rosenbloom’s services she walking client through grocery stores and teaches consumers how to read labels and choose the best item for their specific needs.
“Front of pack logos may not tell the whole story”, said Rosenbloom while standing in front of a table full of different healthy options, “you have to read the nutritional panels.”
The information panels are under review by Health Canada and Rosenbloom hopes they will become easier to understand but she says consumer need to read packages completely and that includes the list of ingredients in order to know exactly what is being consumed.