Nutritional Labels

The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label

Step 1: Start with the Serving Size

  • Look here for both the serving size (the amount people typically eat at one time) and the number of servings in the package.
  • Compare your portion size (the amount you actually eat) to the serving size listed on the panel. The Nutrition Facts applies to the serving size, so if the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients than what is listed on the label.

Step 2: Check Out the Total Calories

  • Find out how many calories are in a single serving.

Step 3: Let the Percent Daily Values Be a Guide

  • Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan. Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack. Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat.
  • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you may need more or less than 100 percent DV.
  • Low is 5 percent or less. Aim low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • High is 20 percent or more. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Step 4: Check Out the Nutrition Terms

  • Low calorie: 40 calories or less per serving.
  • Low cholesterol: 20 milligrams or less and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
  • Reduced: At least 25 percent less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product.
  • Good source of: Provides at least 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving.
  • Excellent source of: Provides at least 20 percent or more of the Daily Value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving. 
  • Calorie free: Less than five calories per serving.
  • Fat free/sugar free: Less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving.
  • Low sodium: 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving.
  • High in: Provides 20 percent or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving.

Step 5: Choose Low in Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Sodium

  • Eating less saturated fat, added sugars and sodium may help reduce your risk for chronic disease.
  • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Eating too much added sugar makes it difficult to meet nutrient needs within your calorie requirement.
  • High levels of sodium can add up to high blood pressure.
  • Remember to aim for low percentage DV of these nutrients.

Step 6: Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

  • Eat more fiber, potassium, vitamin D, calcium and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
  • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.
  • Remember to aim high for percentage DV of these nutrients.

Step 7: Consider the Additional Nutrients

You know about calories, but it also is important to know about the additional nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label.

  • Protein: A percentage Daily Value for protein is not required on the label. Eat moderate portions of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, plus beans and peas, peanut butter, seeds and soy products.
  • Carbohydrates: There are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber. Eat whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta plus fruits and vegetables.
  • Sugars: Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, occur naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) or come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup. Added sugars will be included on the Nutrition Facts label in 2020. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of daily calories from added sugars.

Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. This information is particularly helpful to individuals with food sensitivities, those who wish to avoid pork or shellfish, limit added sugars or people who prefer vegetarian eating.

Save Money on Plant-Based, Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

A vegan diet is the healthiest diet on the planet, so the long-term savings in health expenses and extra days of being able to work saves you money all by itself.

1. Despite all those pushing for “Grain Fed Beef” and “Organic Dairy” – which may be healthier than their factory-farmed counterparts – they’re not healthier than a vegan diet, and budget-wise, they cannot even compare.

2. Focus on whole foods, and try to get the most nutrients for every dollar you spend. 

3. Avoid Vegan Processed junk! Fake Meat (aka Meat Analogs), Fake Cheese, Fake Milk, Fake Butter – these things are budget-breakers.

4. To prevent food from going bad, make use of your freezer instead!  That way, it won’t expire even if you don’t eat it right away.

5. Focus on dry pantry staples and frozen vegetables for the backbone of your diet.

6. Focus on what called  “Peasant Food” – meals based around grains, beans and lentils. They are filling and last long in storage.

7. In order to save as much money as possible, make sure to grow vegetables that can be easily stored, choose vegetables that are expensive in the store, and do your research.

 

Eating healthy can become expensive if you aren’t careful. However, if you follow the strategies detailed above, it can be affordable.

Are You Aware of What’s Really in Your Food?

They say you are what you eat — but do you know what you’re actually eating?

The ingredients in your favourite foods may be listed on the label, but it’s not always easy to work out what the manufacturer is saying. Imagine if you could peel back the packaging and see what goes into that can of baked beans or bottle of ketchup — and how much space is taken up by sugar lumps, salt or fat.

If you want to stay healthy and out of the hospital, read ingredients labels. But you can not believe everything you see or read on the front of the pack. Firms use food packaging as a sophisticated selling device to market their goods, like a mini billboard. 

Ingredients are listed in order of weight. At the top of the list are the items which the product contains most of, at the bottom those it contains least of.

Know how much you need for your daily intake of ingredients.

Be aware of what hand how much goes into your body.

Diet and Nutrition for Women over 40..

Fish Intake

Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout).

Slim down

Slimming down not only reduces the risks of heart disease and breast cancer, both of which go up after menopause,  but new research shows that it may also help obese or overweight women cut down on hot flashes.

Take Care of Your Bones

Your calcium needs go up after age 50, from 1,000 milligrams per day to 1,200 mg.  Doctors believe with less estrogen on board, your bones don’t absorb calcium as well.
If you’re eating dairy, choose low-fat products. These have roughly the same amount of calcium as their full-fat counterparts, but with fewer calories.

Soy is Ok

Soy contains plant estrogens, so many women think it can increase their breast cancer risk. However, there is little data to support this. The misconception likely comes from studies of high-dose soy supplements, which may stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive tumors.
Soy foods like tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk may offer relief from mild hot flashes and are not thought to increase breast cancer risk. “Women in Japan have the highest soy intake and the lowest risk of breast cancer, but Japanese women who move to the U.S. and eat less soy have a higher risk,” says research.

Fiber is your friend

The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows around age 40, eating fewer calories can boost health. But you should also make sure to get adequate fiber and fluids. Make sure the calories that you are decreasing come from things like sweets, but we keep those high-fiber foods in the diet, and we also make sure we meet our fluid needs. That’s really important. Make sure that our daily eating plan is packed full of nutrient-dense food, like lean protein, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and whole grains.

 

NUTRITION TIPS AND IDEAS

  1. Realize exercise and Diet go hand and hand. You can’t do one with out the other.
  2. Eat food close to its natural state as possible.
  3. Stay out the aisles of the grocery store where the most processed foods are located.
  4. Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
  5. Keep a journal or download an app, to track what you eat daily.
  6. Stop eating once you are satisfied not when you are stuffed.
  7. Watch your portion size.
  8. Cook at home as much as possible and avoid fast foods.
  9. Plan your meals ahead of time, so you won’t get hungry and over eat.
  10. Create an environment of healthy foods, you won’t eat what you don’t have at home.

Vitamin Supplements vs. Actual Food

Vitamins and minerals in supplements are synthetic forms of the nutrients. The word “synthetic” doesn’t necessarily mean inferior, however. Even those supplements that claim to have “natural” ingredients contain some synthetic ingredients. Therefore, if a pill contained only natural ingredients, it would be huge.

It is generally best to get your vitamins (as well as minerals) naturally from foods or, in the case of vitamin D, controlled sun exposure.  For example, recent research on the mineral calcium suggests that it is safest to get your calcium from foods that are naturally rich in calcium than from supplements.

Exceptions to the “foods are better” rule are two B vitamins. Ten to thirty percent of older people don’t properly digest and absorb natural vitamin B-12 from foods, so it is recommended to get B-12 from a supplement if you are over age 50.

Supplements aren’t intended to substitute for food. They can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:

  • Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. As part of a healthy diet, fiber can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
  • Protective substances. Many whole foods are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down a natural process leading to cell and tissue damage. It isn’t clear that antioxidant supplements offer the same benefits as antioxidants in food. Some high-dose antioxidant supplements have been associated with health risks.

source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/supplements/art-20044894