Monday, November 17, 2014

Understanding Food LABELS and using them to eat healthier


In our modern world, if you are concerned about what you and your family are eating then you really need to read the labels on those cans and bags in your Supermarket, very closely.
Once you pick up a can of your favorite beans or a bag of potato chips, and actually read the labels will find that you have opened up a new world of information.

NUTRITION Information

The USDA requires the listing of the nutritional information of a packaged food. It will include the percentage of the official Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) that is based on a 2000 calories a day diet.

The nutritional data table will include such data as serving size; servings per container, and then for each serving it will list percentage of the MDR of Fats, Total Fats, Saturated Fats, and Trans Fats.

It also lists the percentage of the other nutrients such as Cholesterol, Carbohydrates, Sodium, Protein, Salt, Sugar, Calcium, Dietary Fiber and Iron as well as any Vitamins present.

Using this nutritional data can help you select healthier food options and select your foods for a better diet.


FOOD Ingredients

When you find the Ingredients listing the first thing you should notice is the order of the ingredients.
 The ingredients should be listed in the order of their volume, so there is more of the first ingredient than there is of the second, and more of the second than of the third, and so on down the list.

The next thing you will notice is that there are some ingredients that have chemical sounding names.

These are the ones you need to know about because they are usually added for different reasons but most are added as preservatives or for other processing or growth purposes.

The USDA requires the listing of the nutritional information of a packaged food.
The label will also include the percentage of the official Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) for each ingredient that is based on a 2000 calories a day diet.

The nutritional data table will also include such data as;
serving size,
servings per container,
 and then for each serving it will list percentage of the MDR of Fats, Total Fats, Saturated Fats, and Trans Fats.

It also lists the percentage of the other common nutrients as;
Cholesterol,
Carbohydrates,
Sodium,
Protein,
Salt,
Sugar,
Calcium,
Dietary Fiber
and Iron as well as any significant Vitamins present.

Using this nutritional data can help you select healthier food options and select your preferred foods for a better diet.