Monday, February 27, 2012

Nutrition Labels - Reading/Understanding

The Nutrition Facts label is a panel on most packaged food and beverage products that is required by the Food and Drug Administration . The Nutrition Facts label provides detailed information about the nutrient content of the product. Knowing this information can help you decide what fits into your healthy and balanced diet.

The Nutrition Facts food label contains information about calories, fat content, carbohydrates and the amount of protein in the product. The label shows the amounts in grams (g) and the percentage of the daily value. However, this “daily value” is information is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. It is a general rule of thumb and very generic. Therefore, it will not be exactly right for everybody. Nevertheless, it will give you an idea of how the food item will fit into your energy nutrient needs.

A section to focus your attention on is the serving size. This area can be very deceiving. There is a big difference between tablespoon serving and teaspoon serving, for example. This impacts calories, fat, carbs and protein per serving. Within the fat content, we need to look at the good fats vs. bad fats. Within carbohydrates, we need to look at sugars and fiber. You can learn more about specifics for these topics in previous blog postings on these two subjects (fat and carbs).

The most critical step to starting or maintaining your healthy eating lifestyle is to know what you are feeding your body. The amount of calories, protein, fats and carbs you are taking are the keys to your nutritional goals.

Stay tuned……

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