The 9 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Reading a Food Label
Fat, Sugar, Sodium and Carbohydrate
The sections on a food label shows the name of a nutrient and the amount of that nutrient provided by one serving of food. You may need to know this information, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or are eating a diet that restricts certain nutrients such as sodium or carbohydrates.
Food labels also include information about how much sugar and protein is in the food. If you are following a low-sugar diet or you're monitoring your protein intake, it's easy to spot how much of those nutrients are contained in one serving.
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Information
The light purple part of the label lists nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the food and their percent daily values. Try to average 100% DV every day for vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and fiber. Do the opposite with fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Try to eat less than 100% DV of these.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Reading a Food Label
Until you become accustomed to reading food labels, it's easy to become confused. Avoid these common mistakes when reading labels:
-A label may say that the food is reduced fat or reduced sodium. That means that the amount of fat or sodium has been reduced by 25% from the original product. It doesn't mean, however, that the food is low in fat or sodium. For example, if a can of soup originally had 1,000 milligrams of sodium, the reduced sodium product would still be a high-sodium food.
-Don't confuse the % DV for fat with the percentage of calories from fat. If the % DV is 15% that doesn't mean that 15% of the calories comes from fat. Rather, it means that you're using up 15% of all the fat you need for a day with one serving (based on a meal plan of 2,000 calories per day).
-Don't make the mistake of assuming that the amount of sugar on a label means that the sugar has been added. For example, milk naturally has sugar, which is called lactose. But that doesn't mean you should stop drinking milk because milk is full of other important nutrients including calcium.
Reading Label Lingo
In addition to requiring that packaged foods contain a Nutrition Facts label, the FDA also regulates the use of phrases and terms used on the product packaging. Here's a list of common phrases you may see on your food packaging and what they actually mean.
No fat or fat free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of fat per serving Lower or reduced fat: Contains at least 25 percent less per serving than the reference food. (An example might be reduced fat cream cheese, which would have at least 25 percent less fat than original cream cheese.)
Low fat - Contains less than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Lite - Contains 1/3 the calories or 1/2 the fat per serving of the original version or a similar product.
No calories or calorie free - Contains less than 5 calories per serving.
Low calories - Contains 1/3 the calories of the original version or a similar product.
Sugar free - Contains less than 1/2 gram of sugar per serving.
Reduced sugar - at least 25% less sugar per serving than the reference food.
No preservatives - Contains no preservatives (chemical or natural).
No preservatives added - Contains no added chemicals to preserve the product. Some of these products may contain natural preservatives.
Low sodium - Contains less than 140 mgs of sodium per serving.
No salt or salt free - Contains less than 5 mgs of sodium per serving.
High fiber - 5 g or more per serving (Foods making high-fiber claims must meet the definition for low fat, or the level of total fat must appear next to the high-fiber claim).
Good source of fiber - 2.5 g to 4.9 g. per serving.
More or added fiber - Contains at least 2.5 g more per serving than the reference food.
With a little practice, you will be able to put your new found knowledge about food labeling to work. Reassess your diet and decide what needs to be changed. Start by eliminating the foods that don't measure-up to your nutritional wants and needs, and replacing them with more nutritional substitutes.
And while you're at it, visit the FDA website and learn about the new labeling requirements, including those for "trans" fat. Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and increase your risk of heart disease. The "Nutrition Facts" panel on food packaging must provide this information beginning January 1, 2006, but most manufacturers will start providing it sooner.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
Lookout Mountain, Ga., Looking At Modified Version Of Vacation Rentals; Georgia Students To Help With Trails Planning - The Chattanoogan
Whats The Truth About Fat?
When I hear the word fat I usually think of a roll of it hanging over a persons belt, or that guy Milty, from the movie Van Wilder, doing a belly flop off of the top diving platform with the words, "save the swim team", written across his backside. Sometimes, however, the picture of a big, juicy, double quarter pounder with cheese will slip its way into my mind.
9 Tips to Stop Food Cravings and Help You With Your Diet
Most of us are "regular" people. We don't eat the perfect diet all the time and have our struggles with food, same as everyone else.
Cranberry Juice To The Rescue
Cranberry juice was first made by American settlers in 1683. It is a love it or hate it beverage.
The Importance of Protein
Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the body so it is an essential part of your diet and can influence your strength but probably not your energy. Your muscles are built with protein and in fact protein is made up of 20 amino acids.
Understanding Amino Acids and their Importance in Diet
The importance of protein in a healthy diet is well known to nutritional scientists, and widely understood by the general population. Indeed, every bodily system is directly or indirectly supported by protein.
The Power of Capsulized Foods
For most people, the concept of capsulized food? usually conjures up images of space travelers ingesting meals condensed into a compact pill. However, in modern-day reality, things are quite different.
Fattening Foods: Not So Fattening After All?
Have you seen those "fat free" foods in supermarkets? Have you possibly delighted in them guiltlessly thinking that they are healthy for you? There's a good chance that you have because we usually follow what the media and the world around us says. In this day in age, along with other health fads, many people believe that fat makes you fat.
Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 appear to reduce the risk of heart attack. A 20-year project at the University of Leyden in the Netherlands, comparing the eating habits of more than 800 men at risk of heart disease, found that men who ate more than an ounce of fish a day had a 50 percent lower rate of heart attacks.
MSG: If Its Safe, Why Do They Disguise It On Labels?
Monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG, was thought of as a "miracle food enhancer" when it was first introduced to the public over five decades ago.More than just a seasoning like salt and pepper, MSG could actually enhance the flavors of foods, making processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, salad dressings more tasty, and canned foods less tinny.
The Sugar-Coated Truth
It is believed that cane sugar was discovered before the birth of Christ. As early as 500 B.
Studies Prove Magnesium Boosts Memory & Learning Ability
According to the National Institute of Health, Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions, including maintenance of normal muscle and nerve function, strong bones and steady heart rhythm. It is also involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
Good Fats and Bad Fats -- Whats The Difference?
As a low carb dieter, your diet is undoubtedly high in fat. And if you've done research on the different types of fats, you probably heard the two big buzz words surrounding fats today--"good fats" and "bad fats.
The Benefits of Iodine
Initially discovered as a new element in 1811 by Barnard Courtois, knowledge of this substance has come to include the host of benefits it brings to the body as an essential nutrient. For many years, getting enough iodine in the diet naturally was difficult in many geographic regions and remains so for an unfortunately high percentage of the world's population in the developing nations.
You Are What You Eat
You really are what you eat. You are also very much affected by the lifestyle you live.
The Benefits Of Drinking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have long been known to have medicinal benefits as well as being tasty to drink! Some of my favorite teas are chamomile tea, jasmine tea and ginger tea. Each of these has a distinctive taste as well as health benefit.
Nutrition Is Not Common Sense
I'd like to explain an important concept that most online trainers (even the "gurus") don't "get"..
The Sneak Attack of Trans- Fats
If you are like most people, you are probably confused about trans fats. What are they? Which foods have them? What is the health risk?The truth is, trans fats are everywhere.
Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From?
Have you ever thought about where your drinking water comes from? Most of us never give this question a thought. Yet, the sources of our water tell us a lot about its quality.
Olive Oil, the Healthy Choice
Olive oil is a healthy choice over other fats such as butter, palm and coconut oils because olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that does not increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.Dr.
Soy Phytoestrogens and the Art of Propaganda
In this newsletter we will discuss the current controversy about soy phytoestrogens. The established literature to date is replete with studies that find soy phytoestrogens beneficial to disease prevention including prevention of breast cancer.
|home | site map|