No fooling – don’t commit these label-reading errors

  • The mistake –Thinking that “fair trade” means “healthy”. People who were told that chocolate came from a fair-trade supplier rated it lower in kilojoules than an equal kind without a fair trade claim, according to research in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
  • The mistake – Assuming that organic foods can’t make you fat. Research in the International Journal of Consumer Studies found that people think organic products have less fat, kilojoules and sugar. Organic producers try to eliminate chemicals – not kilojoules.
  • The mistake – Equating “reduced sugar” with “low kilojoule”. A study from the UK showed that people felt deceived when they were told some reduced-sugar foods were actually only 1% to 6% lower in kilojoules than the foods’ standard counterparts. Look at both sugar and kilojoules on labels.

Rx Metabolism Booster – A common asthma medication could someday serve as a diet drug, according to new research from Australia. When men took formoterol for a week, their metabolisms spiked and they burned 23% more fat. The reason: the drug acts on hormone receptors involved in metabolism. Additional trials are needed before it can be prescribed as a weight loss aid. Don’t swallow your pride – Humiliation can be tough on your waistline. When you’re feeling ashamed, you’re more likely to overeat, according to research in the journal Appetite. Food can make you feel better about yourself, helping you overcome threatened social status, says study author Dr Wen-Bin Chiou. If you fail at something, recall a success. You’ll feel better and be less inclined to use food as a coping mechanism. Eat fat to shed fat – Make a hard diet easier: University of Illinois researchers report that you’re more likely to stick to a fasting diet if you eat plenty of fat. The study participants severely limited their kilojoule intake every other day. Those who ate 45% of their kilojoules from fat on fast days were more likely to succeed than those who ate less fat. They didn’t feel as deprived, says study author Krista Varady. Try some of these if fat is not your cup of tea E.Z. on the O.J. – It doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or squeezed or from a box. Drinking juice at breakfast can stall your fat burner, according to a study in the journal Advances in Nutrition. When people drank OJ at breakfast, their resting fat oxidation – the rate at which their bodies burned fat – fell an average of 20% over the next two hours. Your body prioritizes carb burning over fat burning, so when sugar from juice hits your bloodstream, your body works on it first, says study author Dr Jodi Stookey. So if you want to drink juice at breakfast, reduce your carb load by forgoing toast or cereal. Tea Mates – Unsweetened black tea sounds healthy – and it is. But adding a little honey and lemon may increase the drink’s antioxidant power, according to researchers in Portugal. Tea and lemon are already high in such antioxidants as vitamin C and phenolic compounds, but their effects intensify when you add some honey to the mix. Works for iced tea too. Find out more here