Bengaluru: The consumer, who lines up at supermarkets to buy overpriced cooking oils which claim, "This oil is good for diabetes", should realise that it is just another marketing gimmick that does not have any scientific proof.
To ease confusion among consumers about such claims and to advise them on what to eat and what not to eat, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has brought out the "Pink Book" as part of their initiatives on 'safe and nutritious food at home'.
The book carries tips, instructions and clarifications on various products sold in the market. Stating that food advertisements can sometimes make claims that require clarifications so that consumers can make healthy choices, the book rubbishes claims about, 'oils good for diabetes'. It states that all oils are 100% fat and should be consumed in recommended quantities only.
Another common claim is that "This oil contains no saturated fat" was also rubbished by FSSAI, which clarified, "This is not true because every kind of oil contains some percentage of saturated fats, though some oils contain more saturated fats than others."
Consumers were warned against "low fat" and "non-fat" labels. The book states, “Often, low-fat foods have extra sugar, refined flours or starch thickeners to make them taste better. These ingredients add calories which may lead to weight gain.”
On the need and positive impact of such a book, Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Clinical Dietician, HoD, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Apollo Hospital, says, “Such books are good for basic insights, but consumers should know the basics of nutrition. Also, such a book should be used by healthcare professionals. who in turn can guide their patients better, rather than end-consumers using it as they might end up overusing certain products or not using certain others at all."
She, however, agrees with the instructions in the book on labels claiming that some oils are good for diabetes. “One needs to be watchful and have oils in moderate quantities. The best is to consume cold-pressed oils as the technology used is way better than refined oils and also has anti-oxidants in them," she said....