Attempting to figure out nutrition labels and packaging isn’t straightforward. The fantastic news is that we are able to help. These food labels are particularly helpful if you make use of carb counting in order to plan your meals! If you often become tripped up on food content claims, you’re definitely not alone. Fat free or low fat or reduced fat? Low cholesterol or reduced cholesterol? It’s confusing, and it can be challenging when you’re trying to make the right choices.
Our grocery lists should mainly comprise unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes (dry beans, lentils and chickpeas) unprocessed meats (fresh chicken, beef, pork and fish) – in other words, foodstuffs which do not need a label in order to identify their contents.
However, not all processed foods are detrimental to your health. In fact, there are a number of different products – such as high-fibre bran flakes, canned fish as well as high-fibre crackers – which offer valuable nutrients. In order to identify these products, it is very important to understand their nutrition information labels in order to distinguish between foods that should be frequently eaten, those which should be seldom eaten, and those which should be avoided or severely limited.
The Essential Information On A Nutrition Label
The most vital and reliable information on the nutrition label can be found on the nutrition facts panel as well as the ingredient listing.
Here is the information which is most essential.
In spite of all the talk about carbs and fat, calories are what counts in terms of weight control. So the first thing which you need to do is look for on a label is the number of calories per serving.
Serving Size And Number Of Servings Per Carton
This information is crucial to understanding everything else on the nutrition label. Some of the manufacturers out there take what most of us would consider to be a single-serve carton and call it two servings, hoping the numbers on the label will look better to consumers.
Dietary fibre helps fill you up, and you need at least 25 grams daily. In order to be considered high in fibre, a food must contain least 5 grams per serving. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains offer fibre.
Fat has more calories per gram as opposed to carbs or protein. All fats have 9 calories/gram. Choose unsaturated fats whenever possible. Limit foods with saturated and trans fats (that are also called trans fatty acids). Manufacturers have to list the amount of trans fat per serving and this information is already showing up on labels. In the interim, look for terms such as “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated,” which show that the product contains trans fats.
Sodium Per Serving
Sodium should be reduced to 2 300 mg per day (that’s less than 1 teaspoon of salt) for healthy adults, as well as 1 500 mg for those with health problems or who have familial histories of high blood pressure. To reduce your sodium intake, select less processed foods.
Sugar adds plenty of calories and is frequently listed on the label in “alias” terms, such as” high fructose corn syrup,” “dextrose,” “invert sugar” or “turbinado”. Select foods with less than 5 grams per serving in order to help control calories.
% Daily Value (% DV)
This shows the percentage of a particular nutrient which the food supplies, based on a 2 000-calorie diet. It gives you a rough idea regarding the food’s nutrient contribution to your diet.
It is necessary for manufacturers to list all of the ingredients which are contained in the product by weight. A jar of tomato sauce that lists with tomatoes as the first ingredient lets you know that tomatoes are the chief ingredient. The spice or herb which is listed last is contained in the least amount. This information is crucial for anyone who has allergies, and for prudent shoppers who want, say, more tomatoes as opposed to water, or whole grain as the leading ingredient.
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