The really low fat foods, vegetables and fruits, carry no labels.
Shoppers should assume that commercial "Low-Fat and "No-Fat"
labels are lies until proven otherwise. As an example there is
a brand of margarine, still on the market, which claims to be
"No-Fat Margarine." However the "Nutrition
Facts" on the reverse side show that there are 5 Calories
in a serving and that all 5 Calories come from fat. Hence this
"no-fat margarine" is actually 100% of Calories from
fat. The serving size has been artfully adjusted so that slightly
less than .5 gm of fat is present in a "serving". FDA
rules require that the grams of fat be rounded off to the nearest
half gram, in this case zero.
Foods which list lard, vegetable oil, diglycerides, or monoglycerides
on the label should also be avoided; these substances are 100%
fat. Plant fats in their natural form (whole avocados, raw nuts,
raw seeds) are probably beneficial, however, and may help lower
cholesterol levels in patients not overweight.
Other ingredients to avoid include casein and whey (both dairy
proteins with a high potential for allergic reactions), alum (contains
aluminum), artificial coloring, EDTA, calcium propionate, and
honey (a simple carbohydrate having only marginal advantage over
refined sugar). A compehensive list of chemical villains
would require a book, so another bon mot is "If you can't
pronounce it, don't eat it."
Dried pasta usually contains only "durum semolina wheat"
and is a reasonably healthy food. Bread, another wheat product
that has about the same nutrient value as pasta, is moist and
will spoil rapidly before it can be sold. For this reason, commercial
bakers add preservatives to lengthen the shelf life, plus a truly
heroic list of salts, sweeteners, fats, dairy proteins such as
whey and casein, honey, and other taste enhancers to lure customers
to buy it before it spoils anyway in spite of the preservatives.
However, some Pita bread and other commercial whole wheat breads
occasionally pass the additives test.