Nutrition Fact labels were designed to help consumers make quick, informed choices about products so that they could consume as healthy and balanced a diet as possible. Consumers are obviously making the assumption that what is stated on the label is actually what is found in the product. However, recent studies have shown that the nutrition fact labels on both food products and supplements do not always contain what is listed on the bottle.
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a study where researchers examined the accuracy of the information printed on food labels. They found that the calorie content on frozen food labels was 8% higher than what was printed on the label! While manufacturers make errors, the FDA must also take responsibility. The FDA only requires that the Nutrition Facts panel for calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, potassium, polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats have at least 80% of what is claimed on the label. Therefore, food labels can be off by 20% and still be compliant with FDA standards! This may be one reason that counting calories doesn’t always work. We may be ingesting more than we think!!!
Therefore, use the nutrition labels as a guideline, and try to focus on eating fresh, natural foods without labels. Also, remember to incorporated physical activity into your daily routine.