Understanding the Nutrition Label - The Key to Eating HealthilyAuthor: Coach Nick Book
The food we eat has a significant impact on our overall health and wellbeing. It is essential to make wise choices when picking out the foods we eat, and one of the best ways to do this is through reading the nutrition label. For many people, the nutrition label can be overwhelming and difficult to interpret, but below all questions will be answered!
The nutrition label provides a breakdown of the nutrients in each serving size, including the amount of calories, fat, sodium, protein, fiber, and sugar. The most critical thing to consider on the nutrition label is the serving size. The number of calories and nutrients listed is based on that serving size, which could be different from what you are consuming. It is important to adjust the numbers based on the portion size you consume.
Too much fat in the diet can lead to obesity and other health conditions, so it's important to track the fat intake. The nutrition label includes the amount of saturated and unsaturated fats included in the food. Consuming unsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are critical for maintaining good health. Just keep in mind 1 gram of fat contains 9 CALORIES!
While sodium is essential for the body, eating too much can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues. The American Heart Association recommends that adults limit their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Foods that contain less than 5 percent of the daily value of sodium are considered low in sodium, making them a healthier choice for people monitoring their intake.
The label shows the total amount of carbohydrates in the food, including sugar and fiber. It is essential to understand the difference between natural sugars found in fruits and refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Focusing on a diet that contains whole grains, fruits, and veggies, instead of refined/man-made carbohydrates, can improve overall health. PRO TIP: Often time when you add the sugar and fiber grams, they don't total the listed carbohydrates... that's because companies via the FDA don't have to list the third type of carb, starches!
Protein is vital to building and repairing body tissue and maintaining a healthy immune system. The label shows the amount of protein present in the food. For people who are active and engage in strength training, higher amounts of protein intake are essential to the body's recovery and muscle building.
Understanding the nutrition label is a vital first step towards eating healthily. By taking the time to read and interpret the nutrition label, we can make informed food choices that benefit our health in the long run. Remember to focus on the serving size, total fat content, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein when reading the label. With this valuable information, we can make better dietary choices that lead to a healthier, happier life!