Reading Food Labels

Decoding Nutrition

Unhealthy Diets are a leading cause of avoidable illness and premature death. Diets high in saturated fat and calories and low in fruit and vegetables accounts for 1/3 of cardiovascular disease and 30-40% of cancers. Food labels informs consumers about the nutrition in food & allows them to make purchase decisions based on nutrition.

Understanding the food labels on what you are consuming should not take a dictionary. This quick food label guide will help you get the most out of these confusing labels.

  • Serving Size : Is one package 1 serving or 3? If the serving size for a single package is more than 1, multiply all of the other numbers by that amount to understand what you are consuming.
  • Calories : This equates to the amount of energy you receive from a single serving of that food. Food that is high in nutrients but is not high in calories is your best choice.
  • Fat : There are three types of fa. Unsaturated fats are good for the heart. They are found in liquid at room temperature. Saturated fat are recommended in moderate levels. High levels may cause heart disease. They are found in meat and dairy products. Trans fat should be avoided. It is man made and is linked to diabetes, heart and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Cholesterol : Too much cholesterol is bad for your heart.
  • Sodium : Regulates blood pressure and blood volume. healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2,300 per day.
  • Carbohydrates : The number 1 source of energy for your body. Processed carbs are burned quickly and will spike your blood pressure. Whole grain carbs are high in fibre and will keep your appetite and blood sugar stable.
  • Dietary Fibre : It helps in digestive process stay healthy. High fibre will keep you full longer.
  • Sugar : Women should limit sugar intake to 100 calories per day. Men should limit sugar intake to 150 calories per day.
  • Protein : 0.8 grams of protein should be consumed for every pound of body weight.
  • Percent Daily Value : Based on the number of nutrients the body needs in a single day. 5% or less is low and 20% or more is high. Select foods that have a high daily value for fibre, vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Avoid goods that are high in trans fats, cholesterol and sodium.
  • Ingredients List : Listed in the order the product is found in the food. If partially hydrogenated oil is on the list, then the product contains trans fat, even if the trans fat % says zero.

Women and those who do the household shopping most likely to read food labels. Stay aware of the food you are buying and consuming.

37 Comments Add yours

  1. inhiscare753 says:

    Thanks is vital information for healthy living.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you. I am glad you found this information useful. Reading food labels is one of the most important steps you can take to eating well and living healthy. Food labels provide important information about the food you’re eating—serving sizes, calories, fat, important nutrients, as well as salt, sugar, and cholesterol.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. inhiscare753 says:

        You are certainly welcome.
        Yes, reading good labels is important and knowing how to do it properly is important.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. KRITIKA says:

    Very healthy article. I would love to read all your articles. 👍 Thank you so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Kritika. This is very motivating for me as a writer. All packaged foods come with a nutrition label meant to provide you with the information necessary to know exactly what you’re eating. Understanding what’s in the foods you eat helps you make healthier choices. Checking food labels also makes it easy for you to compare the nutrient content of different options.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KRITIKA says:

        Yes. The nutrition facts are important to read.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Many of One says:

    Very glad you posted this. I was just having discussion on such. I had, in haste, grabbed a ‘juice’ that I knew better, when I saw the price was 1.97, but grabbed it anyway & had hoped when I got home that it was going to be as the ‘label’ claimed as chocked full of vitamins and goodies for the body [it was a very popular brand]. Due to it’s price I had a sense I was throwing those 2 bucks away. I get home & unload my foodies & flip over to the back of the ‘juice’ …first ingredient…water…[i’m starting to wonder…where is this ‘water’ from…not some back sump pump of a factory??…lol] second ingredient fructose corn syrup…..[sigh] really? Bust…..down the toilet it needs flushed. It’s sad when your health is the gamble if you don’t have the cents to play it’s your health that pays. When did buyer beware become the standard of care? Law was to help nature along….not killing life for a buck in it’s place….we can go healthy now….w/the amount of people that have been grown so sick should keep the medical field busier than shit….

    The lesson I take away…..don’t grab in haste even if written to profess a difference in ingredients.

    Many do not understand we do not need to consume so much as they demand……

    I’d also like to share a ponder…..if, now, organically grown is specially zoned…does that mean EVERYTHING not labeled as such has GMO’s in tow? This i do not know.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Ah this happens to a lot of us but then again due to the strain and pressure of a fast lifestyle we tend to ignore these subtle signs. Food labels provide more than just nutrition facts, though. They also tell you what’s in a packaged food (i.e., the ingredients). … These agencies require that all food labels show the same nutrition and health information. This allows consumers to compare different foods and make the choices that are right for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many of One says:

        I confess, I have a struggle most times in stores. That’s why the ‘haste’. I usually have my path mapped out & my list in order of the stores layout. Especially grocery stores. I get anxiety and stressed out. I know it’s a reaction now & am working on grounding/coping/calming skills. This is not the type of way ….this body….is known to ‘get food’ and in turn, it reacts in a negative way…a certain degree of regret…. in stores, around lots of people shopping and then the fact most there isn’t food at all. I also, suspect the lighting a wee bit [haha]. I hope i don’t sound too far out there. It’s an accumulation of information that has been my blessing over these past 3-ish years…….hahaha….and learning to listen in many directions has been this blessing.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Garima says:

        Hahahaha. Thank you for sharing

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Margo says:

    Detailed label reading makes my trip to the grocery store like a trip to the library! But I think it is time well spent. I am a diligent and careful label reader.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Garima says:

      That’s a very good habit you have there. Food labels can help you limit the amount of fat, sugar and cholesterol in your diet by making it easy for you to compare one food item with another and choose the one with lower amounts. The nutritional information found on a food label is based on one serving of that particular food.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you find it very time consuming to go through all the labels when deciding on what to eat?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Honestly I do. So now I just look at carbs and protein content.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jonicaggiano says:

    Thanks for this great educational information for all us shoppers. Eating healthy is very important, and I agree to check labels are also a necessity. Those that are allergic to MSG and get headaches. MSG does not have to be written on the package unless it has a certain percentage in the food. Some examples of other names for MSG include yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, and hydrolyzed corn protein. Some excitotoxins are also in foods that can trigger migraines. One example of this is carrageenan. Love Joni

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you for your thoughts. The whole brouhaha about MSG and health started in 1968 when a biomedical researcher wrote to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine citing a strange illness he developed after eating at Chinese restaurants—specifically those that cooked with MSG. His symptoms included numbness, weakness, and heart palpitations and became known as “Chinese Food syndrome.” The letter went viraleven though this was a time before social media. Soon after its publication, everyone turned on MSG and a flurry of research on its health effects began.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jonicaggiano says:

        Thank you for this history. I had no idea. So interesting. Love ❤️ J

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        You are most welcome. Thank you for stopping by. Much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. hmaxwell217 says:

    You ever notice that that when you pick up an item that says 100% coconut oil or 100% whatever and then you realize it is a trick of words. All they have to do is put a drop of coconut oil in the item to make the statement true. We are often deceived with labels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Yes those are all marketing tactics. We won’t be able to use most products in their 100% natural form.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great advice! 🙂
    I read food labels but, anymore, there are not as many to worry about since i mostly eat whole food vegetables (i.e., whole food organics).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      I am so glad that you have chosen organic vegetables. Avoiding agricultural chemicals is one of the top reasons to eat organic food. In general, according to research by The Hartman Group, consumers who buy organic products cite health/nutrition, taste and food safety as the top motivators for their purchases. Environmental effects are also a strong reason to buy and eat organic products.

      Like

  9. Thanks so much for this thoughtful and insightful post.
    This is how the love of money manifests, even in what is sold out there for consumption, undermining the health consequences.
    It is now up to the individuals concerned, to exercise maximum caution and use discretion, in making the right choices of whatever they purchase in the name of food.
    May God help us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      I agree that it’s becoming very tricky to choose healthy food these days unless we go all organic. All packaged foods come with a nutrition label meant to provide you with the information necessary to know exactly what you’re eating. Understanding what’s in the foods you eat helps you make healthier choices. Checking food labels also makes it easy for you to compare the nutrient content of different options. A healthy diet is crucial throughout your lifetime and paying attention to nutrition labels is a good step toward improving your overall diet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you. Sugar is very important component of these food labels. There are many terms used for sugar on food labels. You might see sugar listed as the fourth ingredient in a product and think it’s not so bad. But sugar can also be listed as high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup, agave nectar, barley malt syrup or dehydrated cane juice, to name just a few.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Manoj Mehra says:

        Thank you for the helpful information.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Most welcome.

        Like

  10. Dragthepen says:

    You have shamed me into reading labels again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hahahhahahha it is important to read them dear for better health.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Glad you liked it. Thank you for stopping by my blog again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you for reblog.

      Like

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