The Nutrition label tells you what is there in the food that you are going to eat. Learning to read Nutrition Labels will help in improving health and losing weight. Many food product now advertised themselves as sugar free or low fat or high fiber etc, but many a times they can be misleading. You should not buy food because they are making this but you should read Nutrition labels and then come to the conclusion whether to buy it or not.
Why Nutrition Label is Important
Now its mandatory for food companies to display Nutrition labels on their item. But still some companies goes for misleading terms to make it look healthier. Like some product will say they nutrition information is for 100 g serve but the actual product is of 200 g. So you are actually consuming twice as much as given in the Nutrition Labels. So it is important to read Nutrition labels correctly. Note down how much fat it has, How much fibre and how many calories it have.
By getting answers of these question you will be able to choose a healthy food item.
How to read a Nutrition labels
There are many things in Nutrition labels which will help you in choosing the right one. So lets go.
In most Nutrition labels, the Serving size is given at the top and it let you know how much of the item is considered as a 1 serve. You can see it as a weight per serve or in cases of countable items, It is number of item per serve. So by finding the number of serve per packet, you will be able to easily calculate the Nutritional value of that food item. So for Example a Biscuit packet is of 100 serves and you ate 25% of it. Then you should multiply it by 4 to get the amount of calorie or nutrition you have consumed.
When you compare two foods Nutritional Content, It is important that you compare them with their serve size. Make sure they are same serve and then compare.
Calorie and Fat Content
This denotes the amount of Calorie in a serve of that food item and How much of it comes from Fat. So by knowing this, You will be able to know whether this food contain high or low fat content. Please note that not all fats are bad and some High fat food items which have unsaturated fats is in fact beneficial for your health.
To know what kind of fat is in your food item, you should check further below in Nutrition label. If the Greater amount of Calorie is not coming from Fat, then you should check the sugar content of it.
It tells you what type of fat it is, it list total amount of fat, Saturated and trans fats. You should prefer those food products which has less 10 gm of fat per 100 gm of serve and in that it should have less than 3 gm of saturated fat. Try to avoid products which has trans fats.
In this section you can know the amount of Carbohydrates and total Sugar Content. You should ideally prefer the product with less than 10 gm of sugar for each 100 gm of serve. But nowadays these kind of foods are difficult to find.
It will list the Total Protien Content in the food.
This will let you know the amount of Fibre in the food. If you are looking for a breakfast food then, try to prefer the products which has more than 3 gm of Fibre per 100 gm of serve.
It list the amount of Sodium in it. Try to go for products which has less than 120 mg of Sodium per 100 gm of serve.
Vitamins and Minerals
It will list the amount of iron, calcium, vitamins and other minerals such as Folic Acid etc in the food item. Go for the one with balanced healthy amount.
Daily Requirement Percentage
This list the percentage value of the food item that is the daily requirement of it. By this way you will know for what nutrient this has high or low amount. For example if some product contains 90% of Sodium, then it will give you the 80% of your daily sodium intake by eating that food alone. So you should eat that in less amount.By this way you can also know your daily calorie requirement and full fill it.
Many food products advertised themselves as high fibre, Cholesterol free, Low calorie etc. They advertised it as given by guidelines by FDA. You should know the amount of nutrients in that claim and then only decide.
All products now have the ingredients used in it given in the Nutrition label. Normally the one which is used in high amount is displayed at the top and the one with smallest quantity at the bottom.
We hope that now you are correctly able to read Nutrition labels of Any food product. Learn also about Glycemic Index which can help you to lose weight. Keep visiting our website for daily updates.