Nutrition Facts or Nutrition Facts Panel are the deciding body that decides what nutrients consumers should eat and in what amount so that they get the proper nutrition. They also make information like calorie count, amounts of sugar, fat public information and help us understand how we can derive benefits from the food, thus giving us the ability to make an informed decision about the food we consume.
How To Read The Nutrition Facts Label
If you’ve found yourself looking at people who were checking the nutrition facts label of a particular food and found yourself confused, chances are you don’t know how to read the label and thus use this information in the best way that benefits you. Here are a few ways that you can read the nutrition facts label:
The first thing you should do while checking the nutrition facts label is that you should look at the number of servings in the package, that is, the servings per container and the serving size. You can easily compare the serving size of similar foods as the serving sizes are standardized, and thus you can choose the one that best serves your interests. Always make sure to pay great attention to the serving size and how many servings the package has. The serving size is a reflection of the average amount that people have eaten or drunk. It necessarily doesn’t mean that you should eat or drink accordingly.
They’re a measure of how much energy you can gain from a single serving of food. For example, you get 300 calories from a single serving. If you decided to eat the entire package that is five servings, you would get 1500 calories. In order to maintain a healthy body, it’s very important to keep a balance between the number of calories you consume and the number of calories your body uses. The general guidelines instruct you to use 2000 calories per day. However, the number of calories you consume further depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and the amount of physical activity you do. Consuming too many calories might lead to obesity, so make sure to keep that in mind too.
Lastly, this label shows you the most important thing. It shows you the key nutrients that are present in the food. You can use it to suit your needs, look for nutrients you want to consume, and avoid those you don’t want to eat. Saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars are nutrients that you should staunchly avoid as they bring a lot of adverse effects along with them. Saturated Fats and sodium increase the risk of contracting high-risk health conditions like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Added sugars make it difficult for you to have other important nutrients while maintaining your calorie goals. The nutrients that you should have more of are dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Dietary fiber increases the frequency of bowel movements, while vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium reduce the chances of osteoporosis and anaemia.
The percent value (%DV)
They indicate the percentage of the daily value of every nutrient in a single serving. The daily values indicate the nutrients to consume and to not exceed in one day. The %DV helps you in determining if the serving is low or high in a nutrient. Lesser than 5% DV indicates that a nutrient is present in low amounts in a serving, while Greater than 20% DV indicates that the nutrient is present in higher amounts. Make sure to choose foods that are higher in %DV for dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium and choose those that are lesser in %DV for saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.