For Mark Twain, there were three types of deception: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I think he was anticipating how food manufacturers would manipulate FDA regulations and the stats on their products’ food labels! D’oh!
Dear Fabio, you’d be better off selling long-hair wigs than this load of crap.
You know those butter sprays that say they have zero calories and no fat? Well, if those bottles had pants, they’d be on fire!
These butter sprays DO have calories and DO have fat. And bonus? They also typically have loads of artificial additives! Yay!
Most of those butter sprays have artificial ingredients that have been linked to cancer, such as polysorbate 60, which is in the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray. Polysorbate 60 is often used in cosmetics and has been linked to cancer. See the Environmental Working Group’s ranking of this additive, here.
Additionally, the reason these sprays (Pam, included, which I do, shamefully, use) are “no calorie” and “no fat,” is simply because the company has manipulated FDA label laws and serving sizes. The FDA labeling law says that if there’s less than 1/2 gram of fat in a serving size, a food company can legally label its products as “Fat-Free.” And, if there’s less than 5 calories a serving, it can round down to zero calories. The problem is that food companies then purposefully find what serving size they can use (1/3 second spray in the case of Pam) that fits the criteria of being less than 0.5g fat and 5 calories. Technically, then, there really is fat and calories in that 1/3 spray. And, most people use more than a 1/3 second spray! And each of those seconds adds more and more fat and calories. So, it’s not like each spray is 0 calories + 0 calories — if you use a 1-second spray amount, you really add 7 calories and nearly 1g of fat to your intake. Yet, Pam can still say that it’s calorie and fat free on the front label! When it comes to I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, 12.5 sprays ends up equating to 10 calories and 1 gram of fat. Twenty five sprays (1 teaspoon) comes to 20 calories and 2 grams of fat, and 37.5 sprays is 30 calories and 3 grams of fat. I’ve heard of people who use this spray ON EVERYTHING (in fact, Portia De Rossi would spray it on everything, as she recounts in her book). So consider this shocker: the entire bottle contains nearly 900 calories and 90 grams of fat!
If you’re really trying to lower calories and can’t do without a butter spray, use these sprays very sparingly. And, while some butter and margarine don’t have artificial additives, they’re hardly a better alternative. One tablespoon of butter generally has a 6th of your daily recommended cholesterol consumption. Worse, butter has saturated fat – typically more than 50% the recommended intake in one tablespoon — which can increase your “bad cholesterol” (LDL). Margarine typically has trans fat – which can also deceptively be listed as “zero transfat” if there is less than 0.5g per serving. The trick? Check the ingredients label. If there is anything listed as “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” it means there’s trans fat in it!
Really want a butter or margarine? I recommend Earth’s Balance Organic Buttery Spread (not low cal or low fat, but it’s vegan, organic and without artificial additives) or Smart Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread (also vegan, but watch their other products because a lot of them have fish added for Omega 3s!).
My final piece of advice? Read the fine print on all nutritional labels. If it seems too good to be true – it is. No product with real oil listed in its ingredients list is going to be calorie and fat free.
The Cranky One