Reading Nutritional Labels

When you’re on a diet, whatever it may be, your choice of food and food products are vital in achieving the desired result. That is why reading nutritional labels is an essential skill. This will help you decipher the information presented in food labels.

The current requirements for information appearing on labels include the following: serving size, calories, calories from fat, fat content, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate and protein amounts. In addition, vitamins and minerals, whose amounts are given as percentage of daily value, are provided.

Reading nutritional labels is encouraged especially if you exercise and/or in a diet. A study, published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, found evidence suggesting that reading nutritional labels may actually help in weight loss. Results from the study indicated that people who take the time to read labels but who did not exercise were shown to have greater likelihood of losing weight than those who exercised but paid no attention to labels.

Remember that a healthy diet is a solid foundation in maintaining your health. Here are some important things to remember when reading food labels:

1.      Serving size. This matters especially when you’re on a diet. Pay attention to this as well as the number of servings per package because it influences the number of calories and amount of nutrients you consume.

2.      Calories. This is a general reference for calories and is based on a 2000 calorie diet. The fewer calories you consume the better.

3.      Nutrients.

a.       Fats, cholesterol and sodium. You want to limit these to as low as possible for a more balanced diet.

b.      Fiber, vitamins and minerals. You want to consume more of these to help improve your health and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

So never mind if reading labels can be time-consuming. It is still time well spent. However, if you really find it a hassle to stand in a store aisle and read nutritional labels then you may search the internet for websites that offer information on food labels. In this way, you may read them before leaving home.