The word nutrition has developed significantly in the recent years and most of the people are opting nutritious food. In earlier days, nobody used to read food labels. But nowadays, the thinking of people changed and nobody is buying food items without reading the label on them. Now, the main question is – “can everybody understand the food label?”, “how to know what is good for your body and what is not good?” etc.
The food nutrition plays a very important role in building your body. It helps the individuals to stay fit by maintaining a balanced diet. When reading the food labels one should consider a few factors such as – caloric value, percentage of protein, calcium, fats, carbohydrates etc. By reading the food labels, you can also compare the nutritional value of one product with the other. In this way, you can make a wise choice while buying food products.
A good diet will give a person the correct amount of energy, raw materials, anti-oxidants, polychemicals and other essential nutrients. But, no single food can provide all the essential nutrients to make you stay fit and healthy. Usually, all the packed food items consist the name of the food product, address of the manufacturer, the weight of the product, ingredients list and nutrition facts. The food label can be seen at the rear bottom of the pack. Now, there are three areas which should be seen in a food label. They are –
Number of servings
Most of the food products assure multiple servings in a single pack. The calorie intake through the single serving may double, triple or quadruple depending on the number of servings. Most of the time customers overlook this important portion. Most often, the food packets contain more than one serving. For example – If you are to eat a packet labeled as 2 servings, then it means you are consuming double the portion. In this way, you are overeating which results in unbalanced nutrition. Hence, one should carefully look at the number of serving when buying food products.
One should look at the total number of calories present in the food product. The ideal daily value of calories that one should get per day is 2000 calories. The basic rule while reading the caloric value of the food items is – 40 Cal per serving is considered as low, whereas 400 col. Per serving is considered as high. One should choose 100 calories Per serving which is moderate and give the body enough energy and nutrients.
When reading the food label, it is necessary to look at the ingredients. If it has some ingredients which your body should not take, then you can avoid that food packet. Sometimes the wrong ingredients may lead to some problems like – fatigue, nausea, hormonal imbalances, etc. Hence, one should take proper care in reading the ingredients specified in the food label.
The three essential nutrients which our body should need are – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and other minerals. Every food label shows the amount of proteins, vitamins, fats and carbohydrates that are present in that food item.
By knowing about the total amount of fats present in the food item will help you have a low fat diet. Usually, unsaturated fats are more healthy than saturated fats. There are 3 types of fats namely – trans fat, polyunsaturated fat and mono unsaturated fat. One should always avoid trans fats. The ideal fat percentage that is recommended to a person is 30%.
The second important nutrient that our body needs is carbohydrates. They are a great source of fuel and one should choose food items with moderate carbohydrates. To include carbohydrates in the food item, sometime the manufacturers add artificial sweeteners which should be strictly avoided.
Hence, by following all the above guidelines, one can read the food labels easily and make a fair choice of the food items.