For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows any food that has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving to be called “fat free”. In the case of Pam cooking spray, the first ingredient on the label is Canola Oil, and the manufacturers call a serving size “1 spray, about 1/3 second, (0.266 grams)”.
First off, try just holding the spray button down for only 1/3 second! I can’t do it, and when I press down and release the sprayer as fast as I possibly can, it certainly does not coat the pan, so I end up spraying even longer.
Second, regardless of the serving size, Pam is still oil, and oil is 100% fat! So no matter how long you spray, 1/3 of a second or longer, you’re still spraying 100% fat, and fat has 9 calories per gram.
I typically hold the sprayer down for about 5 seconds to coat a skillet. So if there’s 0.266 grams per 1/3 second, multiply that by 3 to get 0.80 grams per second, then multiply that by 5 to get 4 grams for the 5 seconds I spray, then multiply that by 9 calories per gram to get 45 calories from fat when I use the “fat free” cooking spray that says right on the label “0 calories”!
So, is cooking spray really fat-free and zero calories? NO, IT'S NOT!