Uncoding Nutrition Labels


nutrition label You have seen them before.  You know those big rectangles on packaging with a bunch of words and numbers. How many of you, however know what they mean?

The labeling on the packages is filled with items that are in the food you are about to consume.  I wanted to use the next series of posts to dig a bit deeper into what all that mumbo jumbo really does mean.  These labels have been ignored and misunderstood by consumers for years yet they are one of the most important clues in keeping a healthy life and weight.

Other than the health claims that you see on the front of a package nothing is really required to be listed, unless trans fat is present.  A lot of companies choose to display some back of the package labeling and also show daily values (dv).  The Daily values tell you the percent of food the contributes to your diet for the day, bearing in mind that these are generic percents based off of a 2,000 calories daily allotment.  At the moment there are no DV‘s established for sugar or protein intake as suggested consumption.  As we dive further over the next few weeks we’ll uncover lots of useful information to help you make a more informed choice next time you are grocery shopping.  We’ll uncode even further those “reduces cholesterol” or “high fiber” claims we see all over the place.  Do they really fulfill all that they claim?

However, the biggest misunderstood item listed on a label, hands down, is serving size.  Do you look when your hands in a bag of doritos how many one 140 calorie serving us? It is literally like 7!  What you say? 7 stinking chips for 140 calories? One, who eats just 7 doritos? Two, I could have had string cheese and approximately 20 special k crackers or 20 cheese pizza goldfish for 140.  Makes you rethink what you are putting in your mouth and what type of satisfaction your getting out of it.   See where I am going with this?

Not all of our issues as a nation lie in no exercise or bad foods some of the real issues lie in serving size.  Before you prepare your next meal check the back of the label. What did you learn about serving sizes? We’re you as surprised as I was about doritos?  Next up… calories and fat and what they really mean on labeling and for your health.

 

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