Choosing products based on fact labels on food or beverage packaging is one of the main keys to a healthier life. The packaging label will inform you of the nutritional value, including the number of calories and the ingredients in each product. By reading the fact label, you can determine the healthier choices and suitable for consumption.
Benefits of Reading Nutrition Facts Labels
If you read and use it appropriately, information on the product label can bring many benefits, including:
Manage the total amount of calories consumed by the body every day.
The average calorie needs of women every day is 2,000 kilocalorie. While men are 2,500 kcal. Body weight will still be ideal if you maintain the amount of calorie consumption as long as it does not exceed your daily needs. On each packaging label, the number of total energy in kcal units per serving is written. This figure can be a benchmark for how many calories you get if you consume one dose of the product in question.
Calculating the number of calories plays an important role for those who want to increase or lose weight. If you want to gain weight, calorie intake must be greater than the calories burned during daily activities. Conversely, if you want to lose weight, calorie intake must be smaller than those burned.
Choose products according to the nutritional content needed
The key in choosing food and beverage packaging is to compare the type and value of nutrients in two similar products. For example, comparing saturated fat content of potato chips A and B. Potato chips A contained 5 grams of saturated fat in each serving of 100 grams. While B potato chips contain 3 grams of saturated fat per serving serving 100 grams. In this case, potato B chips become a healthier choice than A.
Paying attention to the Nutrition Value
In order to choose healthier food products, you need to pay attention to the nutritional value listed on the label. There are a number of nutrients that should be limited, but there are also some that need to be increased. Here are some guidelines for nutritional values that need to be limited:
- Carbohydrates or sugar. Carbohydrate levels in a product are categorized as high if the product contains more than 22.5 grams of carbohydrate or sugar per 100 grams, and is categorized as low if it is worth 5 grams or less per 100 grams.
- Fat. It is categorized as high if more than 17.5 grams per 100 grams, and low if it contains 3 grams or less in 100 grams.
- Saturated fat. It is categorized as high if there are more than 5 grams per 100 grams, and is classified as low if there is 1.5 grams or less in 100 grams.
- Salt (sodium or sodium). The salt content can be indicated by the description of sodium and sodium on the packaging, including high if the product contains more than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 grams (or 0.6 grams of sodium / sodium), and low if there is 1.5 grams of salt or less in 100 gr (or 0.1 g sodium / sodium).
Conversely, some types of nutrients should be chosen with higher levels such as polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fat, calcium, fiber, vitamin, iron, protein.
Manage Specific Health Conditions
If you or your family members suffer from certain diseases such as blood pressure or high cholesterol that require a special diet, reading the product label will make it easier for you to determine which choices are good and not good for consumption. The following are some diseases and nutritional levels need to be limited or added:
- Diabetes. Diabetics need to limit high sugar and carbohydrate products.
- Heart disease and high cholesterol. Avoid consuming products that contain cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat, and high levels of salt.
- High blood pressure. Conditions for high blood pressure or hypertension must limit the consumption of high salt (sodium / sodium) products.
- Osteoporosis. Patients with osteoporosis need to increase consumption of food / beverages with high calcium.
- Autoimmune or immune disease. People with autoimmune diseases need to increase consumption of products that contain minerals and vitamins, such as iron, vitamins A and C.
In addition, don’t forget to keep an eye on the expiration date printed on the packaging label. Do not let you buy or consume products that have passed the expiration date because it can cause health problems. More closely compare the nutritional value of two products of the same type. That way, you are able to control the intake of nutrients from food or drinks that enter the body, so that your body weight remains ideal.