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Nutritional Label Guidance

Posted Sep 01 2008 12:00am

Anyone can read a nutrition label, but do you really understand what those facts are telling you?  Here is a helpful guide to the learning and understanding the nutrition label.  The Nutrition Facts Label is your guide to making food choices while staying within your daily calorie budget. Nutrition labels are found on all most all packaged foods in the grocery store, and are usually listed on a poster/brochure near fresh produce or meat food counters. If you are stressed you use up more B vitamins and should think about supplementing your diet with a multivitamin or a serotonin supplement to help your mood, increase your energy and reduce stress. 


Nutrition labels show the following:


Serving Size-The serving size for this food is listed on the package.  Be careful when reading this information, a common mistake is assuming one package is a full serving, when in reality it is numerous servings.  The rest of the nutrition numbers listed are based on the serving size amount, so you may have to calculate some math if you would like more than one serving of this food.  For example, if you ate two servings of the packaged food,  you would multiply  the numbers shown by two .


Nutrition Numbers-The label lists the number of total calories and the number of calories from fat in one serving.  Also listed are the grams of total fat, saturated fat, trans. fat, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugars, protein and milligrams of cholesterol and sodium.  Sometimes labels list extra information, for example, the grams of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat or vitamins.


Percent Daily Values-These percentages show how much of each nutrient one serving provides in a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet.  In daily consumption one should eat grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, protein and oils.  Grains should always be “whole grain,” you should see the word whole grain on the ingredient listing.  


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