Importance of Reading Nutrition Facts and Food Labels
Making the right healthy food choices is essential part of our everyday life. However, discovering the best and most precise information is somehow confusing. Imagine yourself pushing a cart through the aisles of a supermarket, your eyes dating from one product to the other. You see bottles of mayonnaise labeled as having “zero trans fat”, breakfast cereals that has “made with whole grains” on the front of their boxes and cartons of non-fat milk. What do these claims mean and how does it affect our health?
Food labels are the sources of product information. The labels identify the food, the amount inside the package, the manufacturer, the ingredient list, safety guidelines, preparation tips, expiration date, and nutrition information or nutrition facts.
Food labels help greatly in choosing a healthy food product. Information found in the front, side, and even at the back of food packages can help in recognizing the healthful benefits that it can offer. If one needs to eat less fat or sugar, more calcium or fiber - the Nutrition Facts on the food labels can surely help.
The Nutrition label in food products is an important tool for choosing and evaluating the nutritional content of the foods and or beverages you consume. It provides you with:
- Nutrition facts is needed to make healthy food choices.
- Standardized serving sizes to be able to make nutritional comparisons.
- Information about the amount per serving of nutrients such as saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, and fiber; these are very important for people with different health concerns.
- Nutrient reference values or the percent daily values help you see how a particular food item fits into your daily meal plan. It also shows how much of these nutrients you are getting to meet your daily requirements.
Knowing how to read nutrition labels helps you:
- Choose which food is more nutritious.
- Comparing nutrition labels can help you determine which foods has low calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, trans-fat, sugar and sodium – the ingredients you should limit for good health.
- In weight management.
- Nutrition labels help you choose food products with fewer calories, has more dietary fiber content and less saturated fat, sugar and sodium. It can help you lose weight or maintain healthy body weight.
- Get more essential nutrients.
Most people do not consume enough nutrients like fiber, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A & C. Use the percent daily values on the label to know which foods are low (less than 10% of the daily value), good (at least 10% of daily value) or high (contain 20% of the daily value) in essential nutrients.
The Nutrition Facts in food products is a very helpful tool if you want to lead a healthy life. Each one of us must the take time to read them as it can either promote wellness or harm our body. Nutrition labels are also helpful in people with different health concerns and those following special diets, it will guide them in choosing foods that are suitable for their health condition.