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Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette
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We respond to every health score complaint we receive with a full explanation of why that product scored the way it did. Now, we're bringing each response into our forum so that our member community can learn more about the score and voice their opinion. You can also use this space to post Health Score Questions and interact directly with our staff! Note: original emails have been edited for length, relevance and to remove any personal information.

Please keep in mind that our score is not a final judgment on a product and that many lower-scoring foods can be enjoyed in moderation. If you have questions about a product’s suitability for your individual dietary needs, please consult a doctor or medical professional.
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TOPIC: Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette

Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 year, 3 months ago #107

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Mike disagrees with the score for Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette (12 oz).
Mike feels that the score should be B+ (77-84).
The reason is: Two bad items are stated on the site, added sugars and controversial ingredients. As far as added sugars - there is no sugar in the ingredient list so it must be naturally occurring in some of the ingredients and should not be counted as added sugars. Also, the controversial ingredient carrageenan is a food gum derived from seaweed and should not be considered controversial.
View the Product: www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Balsami...aigrette-12-oz/79526

Thanks for this question, Mike.

We do note on the report card that there is an added sugar, fructose, but that does not negatively impact the score. We choose to include it on the report card for those members that prefer to avoid added sugars, because they are limiting their sugar intake or because they know that too much added sugar will train the palate to expect sweetness, leading to higher consumption of sugar and sugary foods instead of more healthful options.

Yes, Carrageenan is derived from seaweed, but having a natural source does not automatically make an ingredient safe or nutritious. In small amounts, it is “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the FDA, even though in large amounts it has been shown to harm test animals’ colons. Additionally, a 2007 Joint FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)/WHO (World Health Organization) committee stated that based on information available, it is inadvisable to use carrageenan or processed eucheuma seaweed in infant formulas, because when it is included in formula, the infant tends to consume much more and is therefore at risk for negative health consequences, such as GI ulceration and intestinal inflammation. Carrageenan is banned for use in formula in the EU. Of course, this product isn’t an infant formula, but the fact that studies have shown potential health issues does make it “controversial.”

That said, even if points were not deducted for Carrageenan, this Balsamic Vinaigrette would still get a C because it is high in fat and low in nutrition.

As always, thanks for contacting us!
DO YOU AGREE? Feel free to post your opinion on this product and the score below!
Our Foodfacts Health Score is not meant to be a final judgment on a product, but a guideline to help consumers navigate the often confusing world of ingredient lists and nutritional labels. Read more about the score: bit.ly/11g45Cn
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