2

votes

Hack my labeling ignorance

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 09, 2011 at 12:52 AM

So, as I read more and more here (and learn more and more), I'm becoming frustrated that things I want to track (in particular PUFAs and Omega 3s and 6s) aren't on nutritional labels.

The Omegas just aren't on there that I can see, and even resources like skipthepie.org seem to be more focused on packaged foods than real foods.

As for the PUFAs, the labels have:

Total Fat and a percentage (say, 10%) As subheadings, there are saturated fats (6%) and transfats (0%) (with percentages). Sometimes I'll see a line for monounsaturated.

So... a) why are PUFAs not on there? b) are PUFAs the difference? In my example 4%?

I've been using MyFitnessPal to track, and it allows for tracking PUFAs, so it's really only an issue when they don't have a particular food and I have to create it in their database. (It doesn't track the Omega 3/6, though, which is irritating.)

thanks in advance!

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:03 PM

I appreciate all the answers about what I should be eating, but I swear that's not the starting point of my question! We don't eat soybean oil, we rarely eat processed, I cook primarily with coconut oil or saved bacon grease, we buy grass fed, organic, etc. I'm just intellectually curious about how the labeling works (and how the fats break down). As it stands, I find the labeling system ridiculous as it clearly doesn't give you enough information. But I also feared that I was wrong, and somehow the information re PUFAs and Omegas were hidden in the label somewhere.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on August 09, 2011
at 05:40 PM

I just use this: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ which is a dressed up version of the USDA database. It works for most things, but most of the stuff I search for is a whole food anyway.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Appreciate the reply. As I responded to Travis, it's the labeling "hows" that trip me up, especially when I see folks on the site talking about percentages of PUFAs or Omega 3s and 6s. I'm not entirely sure how they're sourcing those percentages since it's not on the label. (Though I do feel better knowing I wasn't just missing something glaringly obvious!)

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Thanks. We're 90+ percent unprocessed, but some things still come in packages. Fage yogurt, for example, and tuna and bacon (would that I could afford only fresh fish). And the "real" (ha!) mayo that I threw out, but still checked the label. Reading the label of those pointed out the gap re the fats and the absence re the omegas. Sorry if I was unclear; I didn't intend to ask about the "what" to eat, but just about the "how" of labeling, and if I was missing some information source.

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3 Answers

4
Medium avatar

on August 09, 2011
at 12:58 AM

It might be worthwhile to gradually move away from any and all packaged food and just prepare your food from ingredients that you trust.

That being said, the companies themselves will sometimes post more complete nutritional info on their websites.

If that fails, just avoid the ingredients that are likely to have high n6, such as seed oils, conventional chicken, pork fat etc.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on August 09, 2011
at 05:40 PM

I just use this: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ which is a dressed up version of the USDA database. It works for most things, but most of the stuff I search for is a whole food anyway.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Thanks. We're 90+ percent unprocessed, but some things still come in packages. Fage yogurt, for example, and tuna and bacon (would that I could afford only fresh fish). And the "real" (ha!) mayo that I threw out, but still checked the label. Reading the label of those pointed out the gap re the fats and the absence re the omegas. Sorry if I was unclear; I didn't intend to ask about the "what" to eat, but just about the "how" of labeling, and if I was missing some information source.

2
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:03 AM

a) Pufas aren't required to be on there, so they often aren't. They aren't considered to be detrimental to health like saturated and trans fats so they just don't have to be on there if the company doesn't want them to be.

b)Pufas are probably some of the difference, but there's also monounsaturated fat. You can't tell how much of each unless its specifically labeled.

Like Travis said though, avoid the high pufa foods and you should be fine. Don't eat anything with vegetable oil in it (that includes soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, etc.).

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Appreciate the reply. As I responded to Travis, it's the labeling "hows" that trip me up, especially when I see folks on the site talking about percentages of PUFAs or Omega 3s and 6s. I'm not entirely sure how they're sourcing those percentages since it's not on the label. (Though I do feel better knowing I wasn't just missing something glaringly obvious!)

0
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 09, 2011
at 05:21 AM

One of the biggest reason we are so out of balance is that processed foods almost always have soybean oil in them, which is high in omega-6's. Stop eating processed foods and eat good oils in the foods you prepare yourself. Problem solved.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:03 PM

I appreciate all the answers about what I should be eating, but I swear that's not the starting point of my question! We don't eat soybean oil, we rarely eat processed, I cook primarily with coconut oil or saved bacon grease, we buy grass fed, organic, etc. I'm just intellectually curious about how the labeling works (and how the fats break down). As it stands, I find the labeling system ridiculous as it clearly doesn't give you enough information. But I also feared that I was wrong, and somehow the information re PUFAs and Omegas were hidden in the label somewhere.

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