Color Nutrition Labels Favor Healthy Choices
Everyone knows that reading packaging labels is not a simple task. Decoding each of the nutrients, figuring out if they are suitable to your diet and still worrying about the calories can give a lot of people laziness, but it is essential to good health. To ease shopping time, an American study of the Massachusetts General Hospital tested a new way of disposing of this information: the use of color.
For four months, 4,600 hospital employees were placed at the disposal of the hospital with three basic colors. Green represented very healthy and fresh foods (such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats), while yellow showed a slightly less complete meal and red, products with almost zero nutritional value. In a second moment of research, green classified products were placed at eye level, while yellows and greens were hidden on lower shelves. At the end of the study, all employees went on to buy more of the green food, and dispensed with the poorest in nutrients.
The article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows how people are really willing to make healthier choices, they just find it difficult to translate the packaging data. For the researchers in the study, the outcome was satisfactory, as improving dietary choices can help decrease obesity and increase the quality of life of the population.
Learn how to decipher packaging labels
Another name for fat trans
It's impossible not to have a light feeling when reading 'does not contain trans fat' in the packaging of that sweet you like. But nutritionist Roberta Stella explains that it is not just this term that reveals the presence of the ingredient in a product. "When there is hydrogenated vegetable fat, the food has trans fat, even if it is not declared."
Many vegetable products like to emphasize on their labels that they are cholesterol-free.
Diet, Light or Zero?
When it comes to entering a diet, it is common to attack diet foods thinking they have few calories. In fact, products with this classification are made to meet the need of people with a specific condition, such as diabetics, celiacs or hypertensives, which does not always mean less caloric value.
Zero products are similar to diet for the sake of overriding one of its components. Still, reading the label is very important because replacing one ingredient can bring in too much of it. This is what happens with sweeteners that have a lot of sodium, as the nutritionist explains.
In the case of light, the confusion can be even greater. As the classification is given for foods that have a minimum reduction of 25% in calories or in some nutrient, some diet products can also be considered light. But the expert warns: "What should be clear is that neither type of food always has a reduced caloric value."
The demand for cheeses is always great throughout the year. In the cold, for example, they may even seem more appetizing because, to maintain their temperature, the body demands more energy and food is the best source. "In colder seasons, we need more energy to warm us up, so we are looking for more caloric, high-fat, and carbohydrate foods," says functional nutritionist Juliana Mayo.
A lot of people have enough talent in the kitchen and just put the hand that comes out with good taste from the trivial to the most exquisite dishes. But there's another class that pity in front of the stove. Even the fried egg can turn into a fiasco and even starve people because of frustrated attempts.