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How healthy is that healthy food?
Hospital offers two-part series in October on food labels claims and what they really mean
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It isn’t always easy to know which foods are the best choices to make when you’re trying to eat well or attempting to improve your diet.  It can be confusing to understand what “low fat” and “no sugar added” and “low carb” really mean.

It can be difficult to decipher food labels or to know how to make a nutritious choice when ordering off a menu at a restaurant.  Many times we pick foods like baked fish or a salad at a fast food restaurant with the hope of making a wholesome choice, when there might be more to the meals than we bargained for.  The fact of the matter is that although all foods can be okay in moderation, we often don’t know as much about nutrition as we think we do.  If we aren’t taught to read labels or ask questions about food preparation, good intentions can turn into less-than-ideal decisions.

What you don’t know may surprise you.

Did you know that...

• Salads always sound like a good option, but when you add extras like cheese, fatty meats, large amounts of dressing, croutons, etc., you may not be cutting out as many calories or grams of fat as you think.  In fact, a fast food cranberry bacon bleu salad contains 350 calories and 12 grams of fat, which has more calories and as much fat as some fast food cheeseburgers!

• The recommended portion size for a cut of meat is the size of the palm of an adult’s hand or a deck of cards, much smaller than that queen cut prime rib dinner you ordered on Saturday!

• One cup of fat-free, no sugar added ice cream might not have any fat in it, but it still contains 175 calories and 12 grams of sugar - which is equal to three teaspoons of table sugar!

• A butterburger contains 460 calories and 23 grams of fat - more than one-third of the total fat you should consume in an entire day!

• Oatmeal, now that’s a healthy choice...or is it?  A packet of instant, cinnamon oatmeal has 160 calories and 13 grams of sugar - which is equal to four teaspoons table sugar!

If any of this information surprised you and you’re interested in learning more, call 608-847-1295 to talk to a dietitian.

Also, there will be a two-part series coming up in October to help you understand food label claims and what they really mean.

The first part of the series will be a classroom session Oct. 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. in which a registered dietitian will walk you through common food label claims, and discuss what they truly mean/represent.

The second part of the series will be a hands-on, interactive grocery store tour to help you better understand food label claims, and make the most of your food choices.

Space is limited, so call the number above to reserve your spot for one of the two tour dates. The first tour will be Oct. 15, and the second will be Oct. 22 from 6-7 p.m. at Mauston Festival Foods.