In our daily use several processed food products, from preparing a special breakfast to dinner. We must realize the importance of learning to read and interpret food labels that we consume.
Like many companies, we work with quality products and natural inputs, handle a light line and worry about lead consumers gluten-free products (like quinoa), and 0% sugar jams and nectars. See more data to consider when purchasing food.
What should we look for a label?
In addition to displaying the name of the product it is essential to buy a food pay attention to the date of maturity or expiration of the product, as well as, its ingredients and way of conservation.
Knowing this information will help you choose the ingredient suitable for our diet, that is, if we are allergic to any ingredient discard this food immediately, as well as, if we plan to use it within a week and the expiration date is indicated for the next three days.
Look at the way conservation is essential for a healthy and safe dish, because there are certain products that once opened should not stay long in the refrigerator or kept at certain temperature must not fall into the risk of contamination.
As the theme calls us, we can not fail to describe what we see on the labels in the area of nutritional product information. In addition to the ingredients, there must pause to the following data on calories and macronutrients
Portion consumed: this can give us an idea of the size of the ration that we ingest. There are products that we eat less than one serving and there are others, such as potato chips or other snacks, where the serving size listed on the package is usually much lower than what we consume.
Kcal or energy contribution: here need to consider the available energy from the portion previously visualize if the amount we consume the ration is similar to that indicated on the package. Otherwise, you should estimate the portion based on how much we eat and thence calculate energy intake paying attention to the calories provided by 100 grams.
This last fact must always be taken into account if we want to reduce the caloric density of the diet. Since a product that has more than 200 Kcal per 100 grams is concentrated in energy and favor a diet of high energy density, while a food whose calories do not exceed 100 Kcal per 100 grams will help reduce caloric density the diet.
Fat intake: the total fat intake is important and for that we must attend to the grams of fat per 100 grams of food, being always recommended that the product does not exceed 30%. Although if we want a low-fat diet ideally choose ingredients with less than 10 grams of fat per 100 grams of food. Also, especially when fat intake is significant, we can not stop looking at what the fat that gives the food is, as the predominance of saturated fats will talk a inadvisable product if we care for the health and blood cholesterol, while a product whose fat is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids will be beneficial to the organism as a whole.
We can not forget to look if it has trans fats, for this, we will look closely at the nutritional information and also review your ingredients: if among them hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the product has trans fats.
Intake of carbohydrates: also visualize per 100 grams and in some cases, detailed what the total carbohydrates are sugars, it is advisable that most of the products we buy do not present more than 10% sugar. If not described what are complex carbohydrates and simple sugars or what hydrates, we can refer to the ingredients and see if you have sugar, fructose, sucrose or honey among its ingredients. If these names appear in the list of ingredients it is because the product contains simple sugars and should be considered in the case of people with high cholesterol or diabetes, for example.
Other details to consider nutrition labeling
In addition to the calories and macronutrients we should consider other data of nutritional labeling that can help us achieve a healthy diet, they are:
Fiber: fiber intake is essential because it speaks indirectly of the glycemic index of food, that is, of how long it takes to digest and raise blood sugar in the body, as well as the amount of fiber affects our intestinal health, the body’s defenses and satiety we experience when consuming food. Every day we consume about 30 grams of fiber, therefore, a product with good proportion of fiber should contain about 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams of product.
Sodium: sodium intake of a food specially interested for those with hypertension or cardiovascular problems should take a low sodium diet. To do this, it is easier to look at the contribution per 100 grams of product and choose those that provide less than 200 mg of sodium per 100 grams of food a product with more than 200 mg of sodium per 100 grams is considered high in sodium and more than 1 gram per 100 grams is considered very rich in salt or sodium food.
Calcium: your contribution is interesting because of the great need of the organism in this nutrient if we retain the good neuromuscular functioning and healthy bones and teeth. A product with more than 100 mg calcium per 100 grams is considered calcium source.
What is the percentage of the daily value or% DV?
We often see in the nutritional information next to the nutrient amount provides a data feed called% DV, which is no more than the percentage that covers certain ration of food intake recommendations for one person.
That is, every day an adult requires approximately 2000 Kcal is advised to consume certain amount of sodium, calcium, fat, sugar and others. Based on this value it indicates how much contributes (in percentage) a serving of food that are displayed.
Thus, a food that has over 20% of Kcal VD is high, since only the consumption of it covers 20% of the calories you need daily.
How to interpret what the labels say
Often food packages have names such as “low sodium” or “low sugar” but we know if this thing is real or for us to draw our own conclusion by looking at the nutrition information on food, we show you how interpret what they say about the food nutrient labeling:
On the sodium content:
It is considered high salt 1 gram or more per 100 grams or 500 mg sodium or more per 100 grams.
It is considered low salt 0.25 grams or less per 100 grams or 100 mg or less sodium per 100 grams.
On total fat:
20 grams or more is considered high per 100 grams
It is considered moderate from 5 to 20 grams of total fat per 100 grams
It is considered low when it is less than 5 grams per 100 grams of food.
10 grams or more considered high sugar per 100g
It is considered moderate from 2 to 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams
It is considered under less than 2 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Knowing this information will help us know what to read and how to interpret the information food labeling, to favor the development of healthier dishes that help take care of our body.
After all, food is a major determinant of our health and it begins with the purchase of food which is then incorporated into the kitchen to give rise to consume tasty dishes.