How often do we find ourselves reading labels of the very attractive #healthy#diet foods before buying them....?
6-7 out of 10 people feel happy they do.... but how many of those who do... really understand it...?
Well... the figures might not really please you!In the next five minutes of this read.... you will find yourself “smart enough to decode” these fascinating claims of nutrition facts mentioned on your favourite food items
First step in label reading is checking the serving size. The amount for which the label claims the product to be ‘fat free/low fat/zero trans fat’..etc. might not match the amount you actually eat
Serving size for favourite chips (as can be seen in this label) to be fat free is 15 chips...!! How many of us actually satisfy eating 15 slices of yummy fried potatoes...?
Calories (and calories from fat/sugars)
Calories help us count the amount of energy we get from serving size of any food. Mostly we eat more calories than required while lacking other nutrient requirements.
This food label of packaged meat has serving size of 56g... ideally a medium size chunk of meat. Total calories provided are 60 out of which 20 calories are from fat that is almost 1/3rd of these calories would come from fat.
Remember...as many servings you consume is the total amount calories you actually eat.
Note the calories for one serving and the number of servings in every container. Be careful about the portion size that you eat and “do the math” to decide on the number of portions you can eat...!
Percent daily values (%DV)
[Recommendations as per the FDA guidelines]
Mostly.., the nutrient label shows ‘percent daily value’ (%DV) supplied by a serving, that is how much of the recommended daily requirement can be supplied by one portion of that product.
DVs are based on a 2000 calorie diet. (as metioned in the above label)
Considering the average height of Indians (5’2” -5’6” feet) and increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity...... your calorie requirement would be lower than 2000 kcal/day and so will be the %DV.
Interpret the Percent Daily Value...
Nutrients with %DV of 5 or less are considered “low”... those with %DV of 10-19 are considered “good sources” while the %DV of 20 or more are considered “high or rich sources”.
The nutrients:watch your priority
Includes fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sugar and sodium as these increase the risk of certain chronic diseases of liver, affect your heart health, lead to a few types of cancers and make you gain those extra kilos of weight..!
Recommendation is to consume them in amounts as low as possible.
Get enough of these
Eating sufficient of these improves overall health and helps reduce risk of certain diseases. For example, taking enough calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis and eating sufficient amount of dietary fiber promotes healthy bowel function.
Lastly...., Always remember to review the ingredient list. Ingredients are sequenced in the orer of maximum to minimum content. Pay particular attention to the top five items listed. Ingredients containing sugars often end in –ose. Term hydrogenated signals that processed, trans or saturated fats may have been used. Sodium containing additives may be present in multiple forms. In an effort to lower the amount of heavily processed food consumed, look for ingredient containing more nutrient-dense food items and fewer additives.
BY POOJA LAKHANI HEALTH COACH AT LNF