Reading The Nutrition Labels On Your Food Packaging
by Callum Allan on Nov 28, 2022
Have you ever been in the grocery store, picked up a product off the shelf and looked at the nutrition label? It can be overwhelming trying to decipher all of the information contained on the label. There are lots of terms and numbers that don’t mean much unless you know what each aspect means. But fear not! In this article, we will break down how to read nutrition labels so that next time you are shopping for groceries, you will know exactly what it is that you are buying.
Serving Size & Servings Per Container
The first thing to look at on a nutrition label is the serving size and servings per container. This is important because it will give you an indication of how many calories and nutrients are in one single serving. For example, if a serving size is listed as 1/2 cup, then all nutritional values listed on the label apply to 1/2 cup of food. Also, if there are 3 servings per container then it follows that if you consume an entire container of food then your calorie intake would be three times that shown on the label.
Calories & Macronutrients
Next, take a look at the calories section; this will tell you how many calories each serving contains. You may also see other macronutrients such as fat, carbohydrate and protein listed; these indicate how much of each type of nutrient is present in each serving (remember though - what counts as one serving). Looking at these numbers can help with portion control when trying to maintain a healthy diet or reach fitness goals such as weight loss or muscle gain. Be aware though that some products may list ‘zero’ for certain macronutrients even though they contain small amounts — this is because anything under 0.5g per serve doesn’t have to be included in the total amount listed on the label by law.
Vitamins & Minerals
The last section to consider when reading nutrition labels is vitamins and minerals; this shows which essential vitamins and minerals are found in each serving of food. Vitamins A, C and D along with calcium, iron and potassium are usually present in most foods so these should always be checked before purchasing any item from the grocery store. Too much or too little of any specific vitamin or mineral can have negative health effects so it’s important to monitor your intake accordingly!
All in all, understanding how to read nutrition labels can help make informed decisions while shopping for groceries and also aid in achieving health goals such as weight loss or muscle gain. All labels should include a breakdown of calories, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals so make sure to check them next time you pick something up off the shelf! By doing so, you'll get an accurate idea about what kind of nutritional value your food has and whether it fits into your dietary plan or not! Happy shopping!