Identifying the right food might be easy for some, but if you don't know how to read the nutrition label, you might have a hard time considering it. There are a lot of factors you need to bear in mind if your food choice is good for you or not. Among the numerous reasons that should be considered before buying a certain food, one of it is to understand and read the nutritional label attached on its container. When a consumer knows how to read the said label, they won’t be having a hard time purchasing the goods that they really needed.
Here are some of the considerations you need to know on a food’s nutritional label:
- Fats – Trans fat, saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat, whatever it is; fat is fat. But there's a fat that's good to our body and it’s called Unsaturated Fat. If the product contains more saturated fat or any trans fat, you better pick other alternative than that! Trans fat increases levels of bad LDL cholesterol and also decreases the levels of the good LDL cholesterol.
- Sodium – An excess amount of sodium intake can make our blood pressure increase and might lead to the risk of a heart disease. The recommended daily limit of sodium is 2,300 mg.
- Fiber – It’s the part of the food that won’t break down during digestion. Fiber plays an important role in keeping your system moving and in order. It's a nutrient that you need to get more of because it has a lot of health-related benefits.
- Serving size – Serving size in fact should be the first thing you need to check before purchasing the product. Serving sizes are standardized for the consumer’s easier understanding.
- Calorie count – Calories provide a measure that one may consume from a specific product.
- 40 Calories – Low
- 100 Calories – Moderate
- 400 Calories – High
- Added sugar – Ingredients are actually ordered by volume which means whatever comes first on the nutritional label, the product contains more of it.
- Vitamin and Minerals – Daily Value or DV is a nutrient that is considered sufficient for most healthy adults. A food that contains 10 to 19% of daily value (DV) is considered a good source of nutrient.
We do hope this list would help you on your next trip to the grocery! Happy food shopping.
Fennessy, D. How to Read a Food Label. Health. Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20708150,00.html#fiber-0.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A How-To Guide for Older Adults. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/UCM275396.pdf.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016, May 5). How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm.