Going the healthy way would mean you are getting to identify with the right diet and therefore you need to know how to read food labels. This is definitely not an easy task as most people tend to be limited by time. It sure is tough going round the malls reading the labels of every food that you want to purchase. Nonetheless, with just a few tips to go by, you can get all geared up to read the labels right even under limited time.
One thing is for sure; getting the right food on the table is not what you want to compromise on especially if you are looking to maintain the right shape, size and health. Knowing how to read food labels is not only important in helping you get around your shopping quickly, but it helps you build a discipline when it comes to getting the right diet every time.
Food labels have a lot in them. For instance, most labels list some of the people who could be affected by a particular food and may develop allergy. With the same labels, you could know what foods have added salt, unnecessary saturated fat, added sugars etc. Food labels could have a whole lot of information but what is of greater importance is the nutrition information panel.
Nutrition Information Panel
The nutrition information panel contained in the food labels could be used to satisfy various uses. First, it could help you identify foods with less saturated fats, low sugar level and no added salt. These are important because they will help you watch your weight in a healthy manner.
It could also help you in establishing the amount of serving per particular nutrient and thus this could help you see if it is worth the consumption in terms of kilojoules. If you are looking to lose weight, this could come in handy.
The food to choose from could be among the five food groups or simply a discretionary one which needs to be consumed in small proportions once in a while or avoided entirely. A Nutrition Guide could help out with identifying foods within the five group choices and those that are discretionary.
With this information, you can now use the nutrition information label to establish the right foods to help you maintain your weight. Discretionary foods, for example, offer fewer nutrients but add to the kilojoules count. Some food labels also could advise you regarding a single serving but the packet could be having more than a single serving. It is therefore for you to analyze the nutrition information panel clearly before making any consumption.
The Ingredient List
The Ingredient List: All food labels must have an ingredient list for the food to acquire approval for consumption. The Ingredient list is easier to interpret since what is listed in the ingredient list is what is posted in the nutrition information panel but with nutrition value. The normal ingredient list doesn’t include the value of nutrition of each of the components but this could also help with what you want to take in and what you don’t want to take in.
This again could also be used to your advantage if you are looking to maintain good health or probably shed some weight.
Nutrition Content Claims
Some food labels will come with nutrition claims like “low fat, high fiber, etc.” While you might be tempted to go by their word, you definitely want to make a cross-check with the nutrition information panel. Low fat, for example, could not necessarily mean low amounts of kilojoules, but it could mean that compared to other similar products, it could have a much lower fat content than theirs. In this case therefore, you would want to act prudently by not taking any chances.
Unlike nutrition claims that link the level of nutrition of a particular ingredient, health claims will link up the health benefit of an ingredient to the ingredient itself. An example would be something like Vitamin A and the benefit could be “improves vision” or calcium which “strengthens bones”. All these are benefits accruing to these nutrients and therefore such a claim is meant to help a consumer during the decision process.
In conclusion, you’ll also note that some food labels will go ahead to give the percentage of daily serving that you need to consume. Most times, it is compared with what an adult would require per day on average. It should also indicate the amount per serving for a child. This will help for easier consumption and control of one’s dietary composition. All in all, the ease of how to read food labels builds with time. Most people have made it a habit and would, therefore, navigate through a shelf of different products and land their hands on the right ones in just a few minutes. That could be you.