Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reading A food Label

The following label building skills are intended to make it easier for you to use nutrition labels to make quick, informed food choices that contribute to a healthy diet.
The Nutrition Facts Label - An Overview:
The information in the main or top section can vary with each food product; it contains product-specific information (serving size, calories, and nutrient information). The bottom part contains a footnote with Daily Values (DVs) for 2,000 and 2,500-calorie diets. This footnote provides recommended dietary information for important nutrients, including fats, sodium and fiber. The footnote is found only on larger packages and does not change from product to product.
Tips to use food labels effectively:
· Pay attention to the serving size, especially how many servings there are in the food package. Then ask yourself, "How many servings am I consuming"? (e.g., 1/2 serving, 1 serving, or more) · Keep your intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol as low as possible as part of a nutritionally balanced diet.
· The % Daily Values are based on the Daily Value recommendations for key nutrients according to the specified caloric diet (e.g.2000 cal diet)
· To limit nutrients that have no %DV, like trans fat and sugars, compare the labels of similar products and choose the food with the lowest amount.
· Hypertensive people and people with renal disorders should pay special attention to sodium content of the food. Also check out for preservatives like sodium benzoate. Avoid these.
· Look out for terms like- ‘high fiber’, ‘low fat’, ‘no preservative’, ‘sugar free’, ‘0 trans fat’, ‘cholesterol free’, ‘no MSG’; to ensure that you are picking out a healthy option.

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