Reading Food Labels: The Basics
One of the best ways to protect yourself from foods that are potentially bad for you is to learn how to read food labels correctly. Generally, if we ate clean, whole unprocessed and natural foods, we wouldn’t even need to be able to read labels because we would just simply be picking out the fruit and veg at the supermarket or even better from the farmers market, rather than having it disguised in a processed ready meal.
The plain truth is, for many of us we will at least be buying some sort of convenience foods at some point so before you can begin to work out what’s actually in a product, by reading its nutrition label, you need to first understand the basics of your daily requirements and how much you should be eating.
These are the basics of what you need per day:
A 125lb (9 Stone) woman needs around 2000 calories to maintain her weight and a 160lb (11 stone 6 lbs). male needs around 2,400 calories per day to maintain his weight. A calorie by the way is not just a calorie and different types of calories can have massively different hormonal responses but this is a good place to start if you are a beginner. I don’t generally advocate counting calories if you are eating healthy foods as its not really an issue.
Fat intake should be kept at or below 30% of total calorie intake, so that’s a maximum of 67g fat per day for an average women and 80g for an average man. Saturated fat intake should be kept as low as possible and should not exceed one-third of the total daily fat intake.Try and eat healy fats where possible such as oily fish and nuts.
This should be kept to less than 300 milligrams/day. If you have heart disease, limit your daily intake to less than 200 milligrams. Also limit sugars, cereals and white carbs if you have heart disease.
Salt and Sodium
Salt / Sodium intake should be around 1,100-3,300 mg per day, and keep to the lesser amounts if you have high blood pressure.
The nutrition label on your food will generally list the amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, cholesterol and sodium per serving and per 100g of food.
Use the per serving calculations to see how much of the product you are going to eat and use the per 100g to compare different products in terms of the percentages buy xenical roche online from each nutrient within it.
Another useful way of doing this is:
- 1 serving of carbohydrate = 15g carbohydrate = 68 calories (food roughly equal to 1 slice bread or 1 medium sized apple)
- 1 serving fat = 5g fat = 45 calories (food equivalent = 1 tsp oil)
- 1 serving protein = 7g protein = 31 calories (food equivalent = 30g of meat)
Reading The Ingredients List
A nutrition label on any item of food in your supermarket will always list ingredients in the order in which they appear.
For example if sugar is in the first 3 ingredients in a long list, the product is pretty high in sugar, but if it appears as one of the last ingredients, then the food is lower in sugar.
Our advice is to look for products that contain the most natural ingredients.
Also, if a product contains organic ingredients, it was most likely list them as such. For example, organic tomatoes.
Dodgy ingredients to look out for and avoid as much as possible include monosodium glutamate (E621) butylated hydroxy anisol, potassium nitrate (in most processed meats), sodium nitrate (again found in processed meats), sodium benzoate (usually found in many soft drinks as well as margarine) and sulphur dioxide (generally found in dried fruit and some fruit juices).
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat means that there are trans fatty acids in the product and thes should be avoided at all costs as they are one of the main causes of heart disease.
Processed and artificial sugars like sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCC) and mato-dextrin as well as artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin acefulsame k and aspartame should also be avoided where possible becasue they can be damaging to the nervous system as well as raise insulin levels and promote fat storange. Artificial sweetners may be disguised by using brand names such as Splenda and Nutrasweet, so watch out for those as well
Other additives to stay clear of include yellow colorings- E102 (tartrazine), E104, 107, E110, red colorings- E120, 122, 123, 124, 127, 128, 129, 180, blue coloring- E131, 132, 133, Green coloring- E142, black coloring- E151, 153, Brown coloring- E154, 155, natural orange coloring- E161.
Basically what you need to do if you want to stay as healthy as possible is to buy foods that are natral as possible. Its much easier that way and you wont need to worry too much about labels and calories.