For mindful eaters, it is essential to understand the healthfulness of packaged foods that we consume on a daily basis. Having a clear understanding of food labels and the nutrition facts listed on the food panel, allows you to live a healthier lifestyle by arming yourself with knowledge by simply knowing what we are putting into our body.
Listed below are a few quick tips to help you understand the nutritional values of products regarding the number of servings, calorie count, fat, sugar and other nutritional content so that you can make better choices before spending money on foods that are not good for you!
BENEFITS OF READING FOOD LABELS:
Improve your dietary habits
Allows you to cut back the saturated fats, added sugar and extra amounts of salt
It offers key information regarding the nutrition
It allows you to consume low-calorie food to help with weight loss
Long ingredients list containing artificial ingredients and added chemicals
Additional sugars (sucrose, glucose, sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup, etc..)
IMPORTANT FOOD FACTS:
Serving Size: Look for the serving size and number of servings per package.
Total Calories: Total calories are important especially if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight.
Rule of thumb: if the total calories per package are more than half of the estimated calories for the entire day then that particular food is not a good choice.
General Guide to Calories
40 Calories -LOW
100 Calories -MODERATE
400 Calories or more - HIGH
Protein and Carbs
Protein: Should be at the least 0.40g per pound of body weight.
Example: average sedentary woman should consume 50-65g per day.
Carbs: Should be 45-65% of your total daily calories.
Example: average 2,000 calories per day. Between 900 -1,200 calories should come from carbs = 200g of carbs per day.
Limit These Nutrients Per Serving
Fat: trans and saturated should be limited
Saturated Fat – 1g or less per serving
Trans Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 20mg or less (max 300mg per day)
Sodium – 140mg or less (max 1,500mg per day)
Sugar – less than 5g (should not exceed 25g per day)
These Nutrients Are Important
Dietary Fiber – at least 25g per day
Vitamins A & C: vitamin A 700 mcg / vitamin C 75mg for woman
REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS.
THE ABOVE NUTRIENTS ARE DAILY RECOMMENDATIONS ONLY.
PLEASE CONSULT WITH A NUTRITIONIST, NUTRITION SPECIALIST OR DIETICIAN FOR PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS.