What Does The Nutrition Label Say About Your Food?

Understanding food labels is not as difficult as decoding the Da Vinci Code. It’s a much simpler affair but one can get lost in the amount of literature printed on product packages. When everybody is pressed on time and you have a huge list of grocery shopping, it is difficult to understand what the food labels mean. So what do you do?

 

1. Ingredients

All ingredients in a food product must be listed on the label in order from largest to smallest by weight. You can use this to spot foods that might be high in saturated fat, added salt or added sugars because these ingredients are listed in the top three. Also look out for other words on the ingredients list that flag ingredients high in saturated fat, added salt or added sugars.


2. Serving Size

The serving size is at the top of the Nutrition Facts table. All the information in the Nutrition Facts table is based on this amount. Compare this to the amount of food you actually eat. For example, if the serving size listed is 1 cup but you ate 2 cups you need to double all the amounts listed.


3. Calories

The amount of calories is based on the serving size. If you usually have more than the serving size, your intake of calories will be higher than what is listed. If you eat less than the serving size, your intake will be lower.


4. Percentage daily value (% DV)

The percent daily value (% DV) shows you if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient.

->5% DV or less is a little of a nutrient

->15% DV or more is a lot of a nutrient

The % DV is meant to act as a benchmark to determine if that food is high or low in a certain nutrient.You can use it to compare the nutrient content of different foods.


5. Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber

Eat more fiber, potassium, vitamin D, calcium and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia. Choose foods having less of saturated fats, excess sodium or added sugar.


Bottom line

The information on the food label is to help people make informed decisions about the foods they eat. Use this information in combination with Activ8me Products to make informed choices on healthy eating.

Zaid Zafar

Author

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