How to Make Sense of Nutrition Labels
New information regarding health and nutrition is discovered every day. This makes it hard to know what’s important when it comes to nutrition, and what’s not. When it comes to nutrition labels, the main things you should pay attention to are servings, trans fat, fiber, sugars, and the ingredient list.
When reaching for a snack, make sure to check the servings per container. You may be under the impression that the whole snack is one serving size, when it could in fact be multiple!
Always aim to keep your trans-fat intake as low as possible. This kind of fat is often linked to negative cardiovascular conditions and is best to be avoided.
Fiber makes you feel full longer, curbing any mid-day cravings! Try to maintain a good intake of fiber daily to not only keep you feeling full but also to boost heart health, and reduce blood sugar levels!
There’s a big difference between natural sugar found in fruit, and processed or added sugar found in corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar cane. It is best to choose foods low in sugar. Be sure to check the ingredient list to see if the sugar is coming from fruit, which is okay, or if they it's added sugar, which is best to avoid.
Our go-to advice when it comes to a nutrition label’s ingredient list is that if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t consume it! The ingredient list starts with what ingredients are used most in that food to which are used least. Make sure the first couple ingredients are whole foods that you recognize!
Natural vs. Organic
Natural foods are not always organic. When a food is labeled, “Natural,” it means it’s often minimally processed, doesn’t contain antibiotics, artificial flavors, or hormones. But there are not many rules and regulations on what is labeled “Natural,” so it’s not always be the best choice. On the other hand, organic foods are heavily regulated. If a food is labeled, “Organic,” it means that it has no toxic pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. When it comes to animal products, organic means that the animal was given no antibiotics or grown hormones.
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