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Q: What do the phrases ‘no sugar added,’ ‘low fat’ and ‘gluten free’ mean?

Posted July 24, 2013 in Advice Column, Waukee

A: Product packaging is meant to both inform and advertise, so manufacturers want to represent their products in the best possible light. Candy makers may proudly boast “no fat,” because that product never had any fat in the first place, it’s all sugar. They’re truthful, but they’re suggesting that this product is healthy because it has no fat, which may not be the case. “No sugar added” does not mean no sugar. It means the manufacturer didn’t add to the sugar already in it. Watch out for sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and sucralose. Your tongue may like the experience, but the rest of your body does not, so try to avoid them.

“Low fat” foods have become very popular, but your body needs some fat to function normally. That’s why most healthy diets include a variety of wholesome, fresh foods. And why gluten-free? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is in so much of our typical diet, it’s hard to believe that it’s bad for us. Gluten acts like a scrub-brush on the inside of your circulatory system, causing irritation and inflammation and making you more prone to cholesterol deposits and cardiovascular disease. That’s why eating less gluten is a step toward better nutrition, leading to a healthier life overall. Read up on gluten and how to eat more healthfully without it.

Information provided by Dr. Paul Kerkhoff, Kerkhoff Chiropractic, 260 Highway 6, 987-4747.

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