Understanding the Nutrition Label
The first defense in eating the right foods is on the panel of information found on the back of its respective container: the nutrition facts. This white label can be found on all major food items, detailing what’s in the actual food and its calorie count. But, unfortunately, many people only scan pieces of information and make assumptions from there, rather than getting the full picture.
Get the whole picture
The concept of health is sometimes misunderstood and people are groomed to only look for specific tidbits of info, thus leading to some errors in judgment. So, it’s important to really know just what you’re getting when you look at the white label.
Portions can be misleading
Often times, the first thing we look for is calories. That’s fine, understanding your portion is definitely important. However, it’s important to be aware of a few factors: first off, what are the total calories you see for a single serving of whatever the product is. If you look at a snack and see it only has 150 calories, think again. How many servings of the snack are there? 2 or more? Without realizing it, you have actually consumed almost 500 calories because of a misinterpretation. Always pay attention for serving size.
Everything is a tradeoff
You might also think the product eaten is okay because of no fat or other missing harmful additives. The thing is though, if it is a food meant to be flavourful, whatever is taken out is being put back in another way. Low or nonfat foods tend to have high sodium content. Grains and breads or foods with little flavour often have glucose or more sugar. You don’t outright taste it, but your body detects it and craves more.
Understanding better nutrition facts is all about taking an extra moment to see where the real calories and content is. It’s often best to check for foods which highlight themselves as low fat or diet. Are they really? Or is it making it up in some other way? Skepticism will carry you far, and getting an accurate understanding of how many calories you actually ingest makes weight control that much easier.