Even if you’re a dedicated ingredient-reader, calorie counter, and food analyzer, there are still a lot of facts about your food that you’re most likely unaware of. We found this list that TIME put together about shocking food facts that will surprise even the most food conscious people out there. Take a look for yourself!
More than half of Americans say they give a lot of thought to the healthfulness of foods and beverages they consume. But much of what we read and hear about nutrition — from the virtues of fruit juice to the hazards of fat — can steer us to make choices that are less healthful than we think. How many of the following food facts come as a shocker?
1. Imported produce from the supermarket can have higher nutrient levels than local produce from a farmers’ market. The nutritional content of produce is determined by a number of factors, including temperature, light and soil. Though storage and transportation cause some types of produce to lose nutrients, studies show that antioxidants may actually increase in other cases. As counterintuitive as it seems, this means blueberries shipped long distances could be slightly more nutritious than those right off the bush.
2. Foods labeled “no trans fat” may legally contain some. The government allows manufacturers to round down anything less than 0.5 g of trans fat to zero. That means if you eat several servings of a so-called trans-fat-free food — or a few such foods a day — you can wind up consuming measurable amounts of trans fat. To avoid it, check ingredient labels and steer clear of anything containing partially hydrogenated oils. (That may become easier if the Food and Drug Administration’s declaration that trans fats are unsafe holds, and they are banned from foods like doughnuts, baked goods and frozen pizzas.)
>> For more helpful information regarding nutrition, food label reading and other danger zones, read Skinny Mom’s Food Labels Translated: 10 Alarming Ingredients to Avoid.
3. Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free. Most decaf coffee has some caffeine. A decaf espresso, for example, can have as much as 16 mg. In a decaf latte, which contains two shots of espresso, that adds up to about the same amount of caffeine found in a can of Coke.
4. Canned white tuna has about three times more mercury than chunk light. The species used for white tuna, albacore, is larger and accumulates more mercury than skipjack, which is used for chunk light. The better option? Canned salmon has less mercury than both types of tuna.
Want to get the rest of these surprising food facts? Click here to be taken to the original story on TIME.