5 secrets of reading food labels revealed


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5 secrets of reading food labels revealed

  1. 1. Source: www.FatLossProducts.org/Articles/Article/1/84www.FatLossProducts.org5 Secrets of Reading Food Labels RevealedWhether youre concerned about cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or simply losingweight, you want to eat a healthy diet and focus on foods that are high in vitamins, minerals,and phytonutrients, and balanced in fats, carbs, proteins.There is only one way to incorporate healthy foods into our diet and that is to make thedecision to do it! Practical information about the nutrition and safety of the foods we consumeis absolutely vital in making this decision.One way to learn more about what we eat, is to snoop around the supermarket. Check-outpackage labels to see what manufactures are adding (or removing) from the foods we eat.Read the information on the package and start making comparisons to determine whichfoods are the best for YOU. Know about nutritional labeling and the sometimes sneaky waysthat manufacturers have of hiding what is in the food. Know and understand ingredientdeclarations, how they are used, and what a few of the "technical" terms mean. Are theunfamiliar ingredients good or bad for your health?Since 1994 food manufacturers have been required by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) to include food labels (or Nutrition Facts labels) on product packaging so thatconsumers have accurate nutritional information about the food they purchase. But foodlabels are more than just a federal requirement ? once you understand the information theyprovide, you can use food labels as a guide to planning healthier meals and snacks.Food labels are required on almost all foods, except those that dont provide many nutrientssuch as coffee, alcohol and spices. Although some restaurants provide information about thefood they serve, they arent required to have labels. The FDA recommends that sellersprovide nutritional information on produce, meat, poultry and seafood, but its strictlyvoluntary.What Is a Serving?At the top of a food label under Nutrition Facts, youll see the serving size and the number ofservings in the package. The rest of the nutrition information in the label is based on oneserving.Calories, Calories From Fat and Percent Daily ValuesThis part of a food label provides the calories per serving and the calories that come from fat.If you need to know the total number of calories you eat every day or the number of caloriesthat come from fat, this section provides that information. Remember that this part of thelabel doesnt tell you whether you are eating saturated or unsaturated fat.On the right side of a food label, youll see a column that lists percentages. Thesepercentages refer to the percent daily values (%DV). Percent daily values tell you how muchof something, whether its fat, sugar or vitamin A, one serving will give you compared to howmuch you need for the entire day. It will help you gauge the percentage of a nutrientrequirement met by one serving of the product. One way to use this section of the label iswhen you comparison shop. For example, if youre concerned with sodium, you can look attwo foods and choose the food with the lower % DV. Are you trying to eat a low-fat diet?
  2. 2. Look for foods that have a lower percent daily value of fat.The %DV is based on how much or how little of the key nutrients you should eat whether youeat 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. So if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet, you should eat less than65 grams of fat in all the foods you eat for the day. If youre eating 12 grams of fat in your oneserving of macaroni and cheese (remember thats one cup), you can calculate how much fatyou have left for the day. You can use the bottom part of the food label in white to comparewhat you are eating to the % DV youre allowed for that nutrient, whether its fat, sodium orfiber. If you need more or less than 2,000 or 2,500 calories, youll need to adjust thisaccordingly.The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intendedto medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner beforebeginning any health care program.Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can findthe most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.