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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: Which magic metric for food labeling
Date: September 9, 2007 at 6:15 pm PST

In Reply to: Which magic metric for food labeling posted by Steve on September 9, 2007 at 1:26 pm:

Hey Steve

Great question.

If i had to choose between the two, I would choose "calorie from fat". The reason is, that is a number that is good to know.

Calorie density is better but as of know, it wont work on packaged foods. The reason is that you have with many foods you have to add water to them and in so doing, the calorie density changes. Dried rice/beans/oats, etc are all very high in calorie density dry, as sold in a package, but low in calorie density after being cooked with water. So, unless they could provide the number for the "cooked" calorie density, I dont see it helping for these foods.

If they did gave the "as served/cooked" calorie density, then i would choose calorie density. The reason is, you cant have a low calorie density and a high percentage of fat, so low calorie density would automatically include a lower percentage of fat. :)

However, as is now, I would choose percent calories from fat. And, with the above examples, the percent calories from fat doesnt change when water is added so it works either way. However, you can have a lower percent fat and a high calorie density with some dry foods, like crackers, breads, chips, etc


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