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Demystifying Food Labels – How to Use Nutrition Facts on Packaged Food For Your Diet and Health

Nutrition facts on food labels give us hints on what is in our
food. The problem is, the hints are sometimes vague, and not
everyone can decode the meanings of those nutrients and
percentages listed. So let us get your nutrition facts
straight:

Serving size
This should be your top priority when looking at the label.
Since we Americans overrate serving sizes, some thoughtful
people present us the true ones. The serving size tells us many
things about the product, not only how much is one serving, but
practically most information on the label are based on the
recommended serving size.

Fats (saturated fats and trans fats)
Beware of these fats; they bring a host of problems with them.
If you are after losing weight, you should be very keen of
saturated fats. If you have problems with your heart, beware of
trans fats.

Daily values
In a way, these tell you how much more of a certain nutrient
you need to get from food. For example, if a certain product
contains 20% of your daily values, you will only have 80% more
left sourced from other types of foods. It is that simple.
Don’t be stuck in the computations though for these are just
approximations. Typically, the daily values include nutrition
facts on fiber, sodium, sugar, vitamins, and minerals.

Fiber
An average person must have at least 38 grams of fiber in his
diet. The sad news is that normally, we get less than half our
fiber requirements. It is therefore critical to check how much
fiber is listed on the label.

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Sodium
The rule of thumb here is to look for food that has a maximum
of 5% sodium per serving. More than that, you will start
crossing the red line.

Sugars
There are plenty of sugar ingredients in our packaged foods.
The good thing about nutrition labels is that they show the
total amount of sugar per serving, regardless of type.

Vitamins and minerals
These are the least of your problems. Food labels typically
contain facts on vitamins A and C, and on minerals iron and
calcium.

Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Faviano_Torres

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