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Between the Lines: Nutrition Label Facts

By Sara Butler

The nutrition labels on food packaging are full of helpful and important information. They provide all the information you need to understand the health benefits (or dangers) of the food you eat. Many people are familiar with fat, calorie, and carbohydrate information on food labels, but there is a lot more information to take away. Here are a few fast facts about food labels and how to use them to be healthier!

Ingredients

The list of ingredients on labels is sorted by weight. The heaviest ingredient is listed first and then goes down from there. Usually, this means that the ingredients listed first are the most prevalent in the product. So, if white flour is the first ingredient, then there will be more white flour than anything else. Let this guide help you to avoid certain things in the food you’re eating.

Nutrition Claims

Some packaged foods come with claims about their nutritional value, such as high in fiber or low in sodium. You can use the food label to check to see if these claims are actually correct! The claims and the reality of what you’re getting may not always match up – they may be exaggerated in order to make the food seem healthier!

Serving Sizes

All of the information on the nutrition label is based on the serving size, which is clearly labeled at the top of the nutritional information. Make sure you realize this when looking at the food; if it says something has 200 calories, that’s probably not for the entire package but just one portion of it. This is an important piece of information so you can pay attention to how much you’re actually eating each day.

Nutrition Fact Tables

Not all foods have to be labeled. For instance, you likely won’t find nutritional information on a bunch of bananas or a red bell pepper. Fresh produce, raw meat, and seafood often don’t have the information listed. The good news about this is that these items usually aren’t labeled simply because they’re free from preservatives and added ingredients – there’s only one ingredient and you’re eating it!

Calories

Calories are a measurement of energy in a food and you need them for proper nutrition. Many people are intimidated by calorie counts, but it’s an important number to be aware of when eating a particular food. The real takeaway from calorie counts on nutrition labels is that it’s more important to pay attention to serving size than counting calories – that’s where you’ll really make a difference for your health!

If you need more guidance when it comes to healthy food choices, discuss it with your chiropractor at The Joint!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio. 

 

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