Health Watch - Eating Habits: Food Labels

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If you made a New Year’s resolution to develop better eating habits, we’ve got some tips this week on Health Watch to help you stick with that resolution. One thing you may do when trying to eat better is pay more attention to food labels. But don’t just read the nutrition facts.

The fat and calorie counts on food labels are helpful for choosing foods, but the list of ingredients is just as important. Dr. Elizabeth Parks, a nutrition expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says one ingredient to look for is fructose. This sugar converts rapidly into fat and may even cause calories from other foods to be turned into fat instead of being burned. Although this sugar is found naturally in fruit, the real problem is with processed foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. The American diet, in general, contains too much fat and sugar. Cutting back on sweetened processed foods may help you lose weight.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


February 2010

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