Lifewatch: Is it really fat free?

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Grocery stores are filled with products that target people who are trying to watch their weight, but when a food is labeled 99% fat free is there any truth to the claims?

Nutritionists are warning shoppers not to believe everything you read. When it comes to foods labeled with a certain percentage of fat, you may be getting more than you bargained for.

Nutritionists say we should keep our daily fat intake at 30% of below, a number that is figured by dividing the fat calories in a product by the total calories.

But, the front of the food labels are governed by loose marketing rules and the fat content there refers to the weight of the fat compared to the weight of the overall product.

Internist with Texas Health Dallas Dr. Donna Casey said the labels have nothing to do with the calories are sabotaging millions of Americans who are trying to eat healthy.

"Studies show that people actually eat 30-40% more when they think they're eating a healthy or low fat diet," said Casey.  "They consume more product which means more calories."

Health care experts say if you want the real skinny on what you're eating, the only label you can trust is the one on the back.

To learn more about reading food labels, click here.