A food label is to help you understand the nutritional value of a given food. You should be able to look at the list and know how it is beneficial for your health. This is the ideal situation, but people get more confused when they read a food label most of the time. How much sodium is too much? Or if you should be concerned with the number of carbohydrates in the food? There are too many questions that remain unanswered. If you too find it difficult to understand a food label, this article can help you dissect it. Keep on reading.
Step 1- The Ingredient List
Always start by reading the ingredient list on the food labels. The easy trick here is to see if the list is small or big. The small ones usually contain all the necessary ingredients, and they are generally beneficial to your health. Food that comes with a long list of ingredients usually contains a lot of chemicals and hence should be avoided. Avoid food that has added sugar or saturated fat in its ingredient list.
Step 2- Portion Size
Ingredients listed on the labels of your food packet are usually based on one portion. So ensure that you understand what one portion size actually means. For example, if one spoon of butter is one serving, and you use three spoonfuls of butter, you should multiply the quantity ingredients in the list by three.
Step 3- Calories
The number of calories you intake will depend on your fitness goals. So be cautious about the calories of the food you are purchasing so that you do end up getting a calorie surplus after consuming the product.
Step 4- Fats
This is tricky, but you should always focus on the total fat in a given food, including trans fat and saturated fat. Foods high in healthy fats need to be consumed, but those high in trans fat or saturated fat should always be avoided for better health conditions. Avoid any added sugar as much as you can.
Step 5- Sodium
You should also keep a close eye on the sodium content of the food you are consuming. It is mostly used for improving the flavour of your food, even in non-salty foods. Opt for food that comes with less than five per cent of your daily value.
Step 6- Fibre And Protein
Food high in fibre is great for your overall health. Opt for fibre that is twenty-five per cent of your daily value. You should also take enough protein in your lunch and dinner to maintain your health. You can check their percentage on food labels.
These are some of the important things to keep in mind when you check the food level. When you know your daily intake limit, reading the label for each food would be easier.