06 Jan HEALTHY LIVING – Understanding the Nutrition Facts Table
Look around you next time you go grocery shopping, you will notice more and more people taking the time to read labels and compare food products.
It is important to know how to read and interpret the information and above all, understand that the answer does not only reside in the nutrition facts table!
The nutrition facts table
For instance, those of you who may like peanut butter, and usually eat four tablespoons instead of the two recommended on the nutrition table of its packaging, must remember to multiply all of the other nutritional values that appear on the chart by two.
Lipids – Supplier of energy and nutrients
Trans fats are unhealthy fats made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of vegetable oils (hydrogen added to oil to render it solid at room temperature) used in food processing. During hydrogenation, certain healthy unsaturated vegetable fats are transformed in saturated fats or trans fats, both unhealthy.
Monosaturated fats, also called omega-9s, and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s and omega-6s) are considered healthy fats and have well-known protective beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. They are found mostly in nuts, vegetable oils and a variety of fatty fish.
Cholesterol – helps the formation of cells and hormones
Sodium – Helps balance body fluids
Carbohydrates- Energy supplier to the brain and muscles
- Sugars such as: monosaccharides (glucose) and disaccharides (saccharose), starch, polyhydric alcohols (isomalt, lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol) and
- Dietary fibres.
Aside from helping prevent constipation, dietary fibres help prevent heart disease and help control your appetite.
We must favor carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index (as they do not cause a high increase in insulin). When absorbed too quickly, those with a high glycemic index will produce a significant increase of insulin and can generate drops in blood glucose levels.
Proteins – Helps build muscles bones and teeth.
|100 g portion||Proteins|
|Chicken breast cooked, without skin||33 g|
|Corn beef lean, grilled, well cooked||28 g|
|Pink salmon, cooked||22 g|
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A: Maintains healthy skin and vision.
Vitamin C: Helps fight infections.
Calcium: Helps keeping bones and teeth healthy.
Iron: Helps red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body.
The % daily value (%DV)
You wish to decrease your fat and salt consumption?
Look for a low percentage of lipids, trans and saturated fats and sodium.
You wish to increase your fibre, vitamin and mineral intake?
Choose foods that have high percentages of fibres, vitamins and minerals.
Gleaned from the A.Vogel Blog