Are you smarter than a can of pan spray?

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This week, I’ve been working with Sophia. Sophia is working on her master’s at Cox College to become a dietitian. She’s from Wisconsin, and she’s hanging out with us for the next two weeks.

She and I have been talking about all kinds of different foods, about macronutrients, and about insulin. And we’re talking about label reading. We were chatting about a really common food item that you probably have in your kitchen: pan spray.

What is pan spray?

Let’s think about how we use pan spray: we spray it on what we bake in the oven, we spray it over the sauté pan so whatever we’re sauteing doesn’t stick—I’ve even heard of people spraying it right onto the chicken breast, then stick the chicken on the grill to cook it!

When we look at the ingredient list on the can of pan spray, we see “zero” everywhere. So, it feels like a safe thing to use. How can “zero” be bad, right?

Now, let’s look at a serving size. The serving size is one-fourth of a second of a spray. In the history of pan spray, has anyone ever just used a fourth of a second of a spray? Is that really measurable?

In that fourth-of-a-second, you get zero calories, zero fat, zero saturated fat, zero cholesterol, zero sodium, zero carbs, zero protein—zero everything! What a genius marketing thing: I use this, and it’s nothing!

Well . . . not exactly. When you look at the ingredients, you see canola oil, palm oil, coconut oil, lecithin from soybeans, dimethyl silicone, anti-foaming agent, and rosemary extract. And below that, it says it contains propellant. So, you’re not just getting fat—you’re getting chemicals!

Pan spray does not belong in your pantry. It belongs in the trash!

What types of oils should you use?

Butter, olive oil, and coconut oil are all good choices. And, if you know me, you know I’m a fan of bacon fat! I encourage you to use real fats that you know you’re not getting any chemicals with. If you do this one thing, you are one step closer to eating whole foods.

So, that’s our tip for today! You’re are now smarter than a can of pan spray!

P.S. If you haven’t been in to see me in awhile, let’s get together and have a check up. I can help you through any stalls and answer any nutrition questions you may have. If you’re new to this nutrition thing, let’s chat! Visits with a dietitian may be covered by your insurance. Be sure to schedule an appointment today!

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