The Anatomy of a Dorito, Part 2


Last week we talked about Cool Ranch Doritos and how with 34 ingredients, you can’t expect a healthy snack. Yesterday we got an email from Lindsey, who pointed out a discrepancy in another Doritos product – Nacho Cheese:

How can the package say “0 Trans Fat” when the ingredient list contains partially hydrogenated oils?

Good question.

What you need to know:

Turns out there is a loophole in nutrition labeling laws. If the value of a nutrient is lower than 0.5 grams per serving, then it can be “rounded down” to zero and labeled as such. This includes trans-fat.

Luckily, a quick look at the ingredient list can inform you if zero is really zero. Unfortunately, this product contains partially hydrogenated oils, i.e. trans-fat.

In the last decade, Frito-Lay has done a good job of removing trans-fats from its product line of chips and puffs, but for some reason this product still has them.

This product also has artificial colors and a whole bunch of fake flavor enhancers.

Not a good choice.

What to do at the supermarket:

If you’re going to have a savory snack, opt for the ones with a small number of ingredients, usually the unflavored tortilla chips. Read the ingredient list. Look for partially hydrogenated oils.

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  • Sweetwater Tom

    I have seen tub margarines labeled “zero trans-fat” then in smaller letters “per serving.”. Same deal.

  • J. Richards

    Is this why some products can claim to be “dairy-free” when they really aren’t? (CoolWhip comes to mind). Oh, gosh, please don’t buy CoolWhip, anyone!