How to read food labels for a clean eating lifestyle.
People try numerous exercises, and follow various types of diet charts but forget to check if the food items they’re consuming are really what they claim to be. Somewhere between counting the calories and switching to multiple diets, you usually forget to check what’s on the labels, let alone read them.
Why do we need to read the labels?
Knowing what’s in the foods and beverages we consume can help us make wiser decisions. It helps us understand whether the food item we are consuming is good for our health or not.
- Allergies – People might experience uneasy or potentially harmful side effects if they eat a product they are intolerant or allergic to.
- Diabetes – Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, require individuals to know the specific content of certain food components.
- Fats – If you read your food labels well, you will be able to recognize foods that contain trans fats.
Reading labels can be tricky as labels are not always easy to decipher. However, a few quick tips can make life easier.
How to read the labels?
Here are the basics for how to read food labels:-
- Check the calories per serving: Many people think the calories posted on the label mean they’re taking that many calories. That’s not accurate. You’ve got to multiply the calories by the total number of servings, to realize that you’re consuming an unfairly big number of calories.
- Always read the Nutrition Facts label and the ingredient list: It contains information that can help you determine how healthy a food item is.
- Check the calories from fat: Don’t be fooled by claims like “99% fat-free” soup or “2% fat” milk. They’re based on the percentage of weight, not the percentage of calories. A can of 99% fat-free soup may have a high percentage of its calories from fat.
- Check the types of fat: Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are not harmful but avoid saturated and partially hydrogenated fats as they are harmful to your health.
- Check the sodium: look at the number of milligrams of sodium per serving. Limit the sodium in milligrams to less than the number of calories in each serving for better health.
- Check the sugar: Try to limit added, refined and concentrated sugars to no more than 5% of total calories. Don’t be concerned about naturally occurring sugars in fruit and some non-fat dairy products. Generally, on the Nutrition Facts label, added sugars and naturally occurring sugars are all lumped together as “sugar,” so be careful with that.
- Make sure that any grain is WHOLE grain: Scout out products that contain only whole grains and look for at least 3 grams of fibre per serving, which often warrant the product being mostly whole grain.
The detailed information on labels can back up — or sometimes debunk — health claims made by the product itself, Taking a look at the nutrition facts on the label can give you the real facts behind hyped-up sales language.