Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 2 - Should we Trust Nutrition Labels?

As a type 1 diabetic I rely on the nutrition food labels to be accurate and concise with the information that they put on the nutrition labels and I, in some ways, need to trust that information is correct on all packages and foods, but I've found that this is not the case on all foods…there is only one instance that I've found so far that the information is misleading, but I am sure that there are more - specifically with the foods being labelled "organic" or "Healthy"
There is a bread that I use to make sandwiches for lunches and on the nutrition label it says "per 1 piece (40g) there are 20g of carbohydrates in each slice". This information I need to rely upon to calculate an accurate amount of insulin that I need to inject to counteract the sugar being processed in the body from the metabolizing of the carbohydrates. This bread is a bread that is descending in size throughout the package, so like there are pieces that are larger and there are pieces that are smaller than the previous one.

In order to be much more accurate I decided to buy a scale a few months ago and start to actually weigh the food that I was eating so that I could be as accurate as possible - using the weight rather than the serving size - because like with boxes of macaroni it says per 1/4 box = 60g of carbs, so I mean how do I accurately measure 1/4 of a box or estimate what 1/4 of a box is, so weighing the food that I was eating made the calculations much more accurate because I could divide the amount of food that I was eating by the serving size in g written on the nutrition label and multiply that by the amount of carbs in each serving size in grams. So back to the bread - I started to weigh out the bread and found that each time I weighed the bread, each reading was far over 80g (2 slices), the highest reading I found the bread to weigh was 150g which is nearly double what the nutrition labels says each slice weighs and thus nearly double the amount of carbohydrates in those 2 slices of bread.

Before then I did not have a scale and was still using this bread for sandwiches for lunch as work, and this could have severely fucked with the sugar levels and insulin injections throughout work - luckily though my work is a physical job and during that time I was finding the right amount of insulin to inject because of the effect of the amount of exercise the job has on the bodies sensitivity to insulin, so I had to deduct insulin from the injection due to the physical exercise - but there were times when I would have this bread on the weekends or on days when I was not physically active and inject 4 units of insulin for the 2 slices that I was eating, basing my injection off of the information on the nutrition label - my carb to unit ratio is roughly 10g/1u - when really I needed was 150/40=3.75 3.75*20=75 <- 7.5 units of insulin for the 75g of carbs in those slices of bread, and thus this would cause my sugar levels to go higher than I had expected due to the misinformation printed on the nutrition labels, …each unit of insulin reduces the sugar level by 2mmol/l so each 10g of carbs increases the sugar level by 2mmol/l which  escalated the sugar an extra 7mmol/l above my target when calculating an accurate amount of insulin to inject for what I was eating, and if you didn't know, 7mmol/l is a drastic difference in blood glucose.

So then the question is posed can we as a society trust the information printed on nutrition labels? From this example the answer is no, No because there, more or less, is always a motive behind the labels or within/as the labels themselves defined in the word `nutrients`. This bread that I gave as an example is defined as a `healthy` bread and from the starting point of wanting to look and be perceived as `healthy` they do not give accurate information - they only give accurate information on the smallest slice of bread in the package - Why? To make it look healthy, to lower the carb counts and the calorie count in on the information presented, but this improper use of the information on the nutrition labels can have severe affects on those whom are diabetic, or whom have other food illnesses, such as celiac disease where one much look at the ingredient list for any substance that has wheat or wheat based additives, and there has been times where the information printed on the ingredient label is deceiving as well, I know this because my mother has celiac disease and when she consumes gluten she throws up violently for a few hours - meaning she has bought products that has no ingredient listed on the list that has gluten in it, yet from eating that product she has reacted in such a manner, physically proving that there was in fact gluten on in the product

The entire point behind the misinformation and mislabeling of nutrition labels or food labels is due to money, for the example with the bread, the company wants to market their product as healthy and for those who are `health nuts` to buy this bread. The company clearly has enough wherewithal to understand that their consumers will be looking at the nutrition label for the `indicators` of the product being healthy such as a low calorie number or low carbohydrate number and thus accordingly only place the `1 slice serving` as the smallest piece of bread in the package allowing the label to be `acceptable`  with the lowest numbers possible yet, quite misleading and quite dangerous for those who rely heavily on and need to trust that the information presented is accurate.
What is the solution here? The solution would to `govern` the labels much more severely and put the labels through much more testing before they are allowed to be placed on the product. The solution would to eradicate the point of profit from the companies so that instances like this do not cause harm to life as it has with myself and with any other diabetics who are unaware of this fact, remove profit because it is from the point of profit and greed that this abuse towards life exists, and this solution is presented with the Equal Money System which can be read further in detail at

I also suggest to read for more of a perspective on this issue and on the solution presented.

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