4 Tips on Food Labels to Help You Lose
When you walk among the aisles of the market having a range of products available, do you usually read the nutritional label of food? If the answer is no, it pays to pay more attention to reading the content printed on the packaging, even more so if you are on a diet.
Research data in Brazil estimates that more than 50% of people consult food at the time of purchase. The not-so-positive news, however, falls on the fact that more than half of those who read do not adequately understand the meaning of the information contained therein. This can be justified in part by the arduous task of reading some of the diminutive letters and the challenge of deciphering some of the terms on the labels.
However, knowing how to read this information well can help you make healthier choices on time to lose weight. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Be aware of the order of the ingredients
The list of ingredients always appears in descending order and therefore the first ingredient is the one with the highest amount, while the last one is smaller amount. A product that contains sugar as the first ingredient on the list, like some powdered chocolate, indicates that sugar is the basis of the product, so it should be evaluated at the time of purchase.
It should be noted that sugar may appear in other terms and forms such as:
- Inverted sugar
In the case of an integral bread, dough or biscuit, it is advised to check whether the first ingredient is actually flour or bran
Another important point is to evaluate the presence of food additives such as flavorings, dyes, preservatives and stabilizers. With better ways of preserving foods and their characteristics, some manufacturers are modifying the product formula requiring fewer additives and thus favoring a leaner list of ingredients in these substances may be a better choice.
Make no mistake by the portion
When reading about the calories and nutritional values of a food, always be aware of the portion indicated in that table. The portion consists of the average amount of food that should be consumed based on a healthy diet. In this way, the amount of energy and nutrients expressed on the label may be equivalent to a fraction of the product and not to its entire packaging. For example, not always the nutritional information of a cookie represents the whole package, but a quantity that equals two or three units. This type of error can lead to the consumption of more calories or nutrients than indicated.
Amount of nutrients
Not always knowing how many grams or micrograms of a given nutrient in the serving helps to know if this is significant. So there is a measure called "% VD", which means percentage of daily values recommended. Basically it shows how much the product presents of energy and nutrients in relation to a diet of 2000 kcal daily. For example, if a serving of granola has a% DV of carbohydrates equal to 2%, it means that consuming a portion of it makes you consume only 2% of the carbohydrates of the day.
It is worth remembering that not everyone has the same need energy and food should always be individualized. However, establishing a reference value can be a useful resource when comparing foods.
Knowing this, we can evaluate whether or not a food has a significant amount of the nutrients it has:
For the Food fibers , are established as "source" by containing at least 2.5 g of fibers per portion and "rich" when they have a minimum of 5 g.
For proteins , the criterion is different and are considered "source" when they contain at least 6 g of protein per serving and "rich" with at least 12 g.
Low-saturated fats are those with up to 1,5 g in 100 g or 0.75 g in 100 ml of the feed. The consumption of saturated fats should be limited to 10% of the total calories consumed per day. For
vitamins or minerals , a food containing at least 15% per serving, while rich, at least 30% of the RV.
sodium content should always be observed, since excess consumption is associated with increased blood pressure levels. The amounts of trans fat A
fat, industrially produced by the hydrogenation of carbohydrates, are considered high in sodium containing more than 20% of the DV (daily recommended value) per serving. oils, should be avoided as much as possible and do not have% DV (recommended daily value). It should be noted that when there is an amount of up to 0.1 g of trans fat per serving, the legislation allows the labels to contain 0 g of this fat. This means that often the trans fat intake is made without consumer consent, especially if the portions ingested are larger than that stipulated in the nutritional table. One way to be sure of the absence of trans fat is to avoid in the list of ingredients some of the terms described as hydrogenated vegetable fat, partially hydrogenated and / or interesterified fat, for example. It is the consumer's right to know what he is consuming, and it is the duty of the manufacturer to inform you of your product. Awakening interest in the quest for more conscious food consumption, through greater ease in understanding label reading, certainly leads to healthier choices and health promotion.
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