Not to sound overly cocky, but I really know my stuff when it comes to reading food labels. I’ve heard other people say they’d been fooled by misreading a nutrition label many times, but I always thought they just weren’t looking carefully enough or just weren’t as label savvy as I am. Modesty at its best.
Well my friends, I am sorry to say that the day has come where I got completely fooled by a food label. And the culprit?
Fresh Express Salad Kits.
Specifically, this one:
On my way home from work on Wednesday, I stopped by the grocery store quickly to grab a few things because I completely ran out of salad greens and bananas – two essentials. I tend to buy food (and everything else) based on what’s on sale, and as I was eyeing the bagged salads, I noticed that the Fresh Express Salad Kits were on sale for Buy One, Get One Free.
I’d never tried them before, but decided that could be a great option for a quick lunch since it came with everything I’d need it the bag. I flipped over several of the bags to check out the nutrition info, whipped out my iPhone, and plugged the info into the Weight Watchers app to see how many PointsPlus it was.
I figured I’d eat the entire bag for lunch, and noticed the Pear Gorgonzola Kit had 2 servings in the bag. I plugged the nutrition info in there and realized it was 7 pts+ for the whole bag – not bad at all.
I checked several other bags that had 2 servings in them, but they would have a lot of fat or a lot of carbs so I knew they’d be a bit higher in points. Then I found the Salsa! Ensalada Kit and doubled the nutrition information on the bag and realized it had just 5 pts+ for the whole bag – score! I decided to get that one plus the Pear Gorgonzola one to have for lunches and at just $2 a pop with the sale – it wasn’t too shabby.
So I decided to go with the Salsa! Ensalada for lunch yesterday, which had romaine, Mexican cheese, tortilla strips, and salad dressing. I decided to punch up the protein with ½ cup of black beans for some staying power, and that turned out to be a great idea. The salad was absolutely delicious, almost too good with the creamy dressing, cheese, and tortilla chips to be as PointPlus friendly as I thought it was.
After I got back to my desk, I decided to double check the nutrition just to be sure, and it was a good thing I took a second look. Though the bag was the EXACT SAME SIZE as all the other bags, this one had 3.5 servings as opposed to just 2 like the others. When I replugged in the information, it turns out the bag had 10 pts+ instead of 5pts+ for the entire thing.
How is it possible that two bags that are the exact same size and by the same brand have 2 versus 3.5 servings? This seems like a clear case of a food manufacturer trying to make their product seem healthier than it is by saying there are more servings in the bag, which translates to less calories, fat, and carbs per serving. It’s not the end of the world because 10 pts+ isn’t THAT bad for an entire bag of salad, especially when you compare it to nutrition information from a similar salad you might get at a restaurant. That said, it’s still pretty frustrating!
Have you ever been fooled by a food label before?