Understanding Nutrition Labels

Understanding Nutrition Labels

A good diet program can help you lead a healthy life. However, grocery shopping can be an overwhelming task, especially when understanding nutrition facts and labels are confusing. Understanding nutrition labels is not as difficult as you think. By learning the basics, you will be able to determine if the foods you wish to buy fit into your healthy diet program or not.

A food label should include the amounts of proteins, fibers, carbohydrates and fats. Some indicate vitamins and minerals content too. Regardless of the information printed on a product, it should always provide consumers with the nutritional facts that could help in making healthy food choices. Understanding nutrition facts is simple. Since product manufacturers are required to indicate the generic name of the product, name and address of the manufacturer, net contents in terms of count, measure or weight, list of ingredients and nutrition facts, all the information you need to arrive at an informed decision is right in front of you.

Nutritional Food Labels Defined

When you look at a certain product at the grocery store, you’ll find information like nutrition facts, serving size, list of calories, percent daily values, list of nutrients and a footnote of daily reference values. However, do you really understand this information?

Be aware that you can only understand nutrition facts and be able to eat a healthy diet once you are fully aware of how to use this valuable information. If you look at a product, you will see the nutrition facts. This will include the common required lists of nutrients that are included in the products, such as cholesterol, sodium and fats. Each product should list down the quantities of each nutrient for one serving size. Serving size, which is expressed as metric and household measures, is a standard measurement that consumers could use in comparing the nutrients to similar products.

When you see the listing of calories, it will provide you with a measurement of how much energy you will obtain after consuming one serving of the product. Usually, a product contains the total number of calories at the food label.

Just as important in understanding nutrition facts is the list of nutrients. This list includes information about cholesterol, saturated and total fats, fiber and sugar content, proteins, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and total carbohydrates. Although you have to take note of the healthy nutrients, you also have to be cautious about nutrients such as cholesterol and saturated fats, which can be harmful to your health.

Understanding nutrition facts can help you make informed decisions in shopping for your diet plan. It is important to focus on nutrients to prevent health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer.

Last Updated - Sunday, May, 08 2011

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