Navigating the Food Labels

Navigating the Food Labels

Serving size is important

A serving's calorie count does not always correspond to the amount of food consumed by an individual. Actually, most people I know eat a lot more than the recommended serving amount. It's fairly uncommon for folks to either delude themselves into believing they're eating the "correct amount" or reject the advice completely since the suggested serving sizes are unrealistically small. When it comes to nutrition information, getting the "serving size" correct is critical, since the whole panel is reliant on this one number.

What should you do next, then? Make an effort to acquire an accurate reading every now and then. For the first month or so, I advise using measuring utensils instead of eyeballing everything until you get the hang of it.

Because food densities vary, volume-to-volume comparisons don't always work when comparing calories from food to food. Having a common "calories per gram" measurement on the panel, as supermarkets use, would make it easier to compare products.

Calories Count

Calories are a necessary part of a healthy diet since they provide us with energy. Overconsumption becomes an issue when we consume an excessive amount of certain foods. Males require roughly 2,200 calories a day, while females need between 1500 and 1,800. You may obtain an approximate estimate of your calorie requirements by clicking here.

Keep in mind that for every extra 100 calories you consume each day, you'll need to walk for an additional 25 minutes to burn them off. At the very least, you'll have a story to tell yourself the next time you go back for a third helping.

"Calories from Fat" on Nutrition Facts should be no more than 20% of the total calories in low-fat foods, as a general guideline. You can't call anything low-fat if 50 percent of its calories come from fat, compared to 20 percent for a dish with 200 calories and 100 calories from fat.

Understanding Fatty Acids

From the "reducing the fat" days to now, we've come a long way. The AHA and ADA recommend a daily fat intake of 20 to 30%, with no more than 10% of your daily calories coming from unhealthy saturated fats (also known as trans fats).

Saturated in harmful fats: animal items such as meat, whole-milk dairy products, chicken skin, and egg yolks are the primary sources of these fats, which are stated on the label. A high intake of these fats might boost bad cholesterol levels and lead to arteriosclerosis.

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF): The purpose of this fat is to extend the shelf life of food. As a result, manufacturers blast polyunsaturated fats with hydrogen gas to make them more solid and harmful. But before 2006, the only way to know whether a product contains trans fats is to check for them on the label. You should be aware of "suspicious" items, such as margarine (unless the label says "no trans fat"), shortening, deep-fried meals, fast food, and many commercial baked products, such as pies and cookies. If you see partly hydrogenated oil on the ingredients list, you've got trans fat. There are a lot of "trans fat free" items out there, so search for this label on the container.

All the Good Fats

Vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds are all sources of plant-based unsaturated fats. Basically, there are two kinds of people:

High levels of these fats are found in canola oil, peanut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil, as well as in nuts and peanut butter. The "bad" cholesterol, LDL, may help drop while the "good" cholesterol, HDL, can rise, according to research on monounsaturated fat.

Vegetable and nut oils, fish oil, and fatty fish all include these types of fats in varying amounts (omega-Reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease by taking them (particularly the omega-3s).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not mandate that "healthy" fats be put on food labels, although some corporations do. Subtract the saturated fat from the total and look at the ingredient list for trans fat hints; whatever is left over is likely to be "healthy" fat since trans fats are present in many foods. While it's not much, it's an improvement over knowing nothing at all.

No one has to be afraid of carbohydrates.

Unfortunately, carbs are being maligned despite their importance as a nutrient and need for human life. These foods include fruits and vegetables, starchy foods (like potatoes), legumes (like beans), nuts (like cashews), and dairy (like milk). Foods high in sugar (such as desserts and cookies) as well as beverages (such as soft drinks and syrups) all include carbohydrates.

All carbohydrates aren't made equal, and there are a variety of them. Most carbohydrates—sugar being the most prominent example—are digested and converted to blood sugar. There are two types of carbohydrates that may be seen on nutrition labels: dietary fiber and sugar.

Do you know what dietary fiber is? Basically speaking, it refers to the sections of plant cells that cannot be digested. Even though fiber is a carbohydrate, it doesn't spike your blood sugar in the same way that other carbs normally do, and it helps you feel full longer, which is a positive thing.

Both naturally occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk and fructose in fruit) and sugars added during processing are included in the section under "sugars." In most circumstances, your body is unable to tell the difference. Check the ingredients list for phrases such as "sugar (sucrose)," "fructose," "maltose," "lactose," honey, "syrup," "corn syrup," "high-fructose corn syrup," molasses, and "fruit juice concentrate" if you want to know whether a sweetener has been added to the product.

A few hints

All nutrients are mentioned with their percentage daily value (percent DV) in the table above. The nutritional value of a food may be estimated using these percentages. A serving tells you if your overall nutrient intake for the day will be significantly impacted by it (based on an average 2000-calorie diet). Adjust your caloric intake appropriately if you're a woman on a fat-loss diet, since most women consume between 1,500 and 1,800 calories each day.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post