Nutrition fact label is an excellent source of information which should be used if trying to lose weight. The facts concerning the food you are about to consume is essential to help you lose weight. In the supermarket you may be bombarded with information and you look at similar products and wonder which one is better for you and which one actually helps with weight loss.
Products will use all types of marketing trucks such as ‘Light’ or ‘Reduced Fat’ or ‘99% Fat Free’ or ‘Non-fat’. Often similar looking product or products with similar claims can contain very different ingredients. The guide on the back of a food label should be like your bible when shedding the calories.
Labels explain two separate things being: ‘production information’ and ‘daily values’. The product information on a nutrition fact label gives general product-specific information including: serving size, calories and nutrient information – this information will vary depending on the food product you have purchased. A top tip when comparing products: check the serving sizes are similar, and the weight (grams, milligrams and ounces) so you can compare which foods are higher or lower in specific nutrients.
The nutrition fact label will also provide a food note with daily values (DVs) concerning important nutrients including fat, sodium and fibre. The DV’s are listed for people who have approximately 2,000 or 2,500 calories per day. The DV’s are often provided in grams as well as in percentages, remembering this relates to people who have 2,000 or 2,500 calories per day. When you look at the percentages of DV’s examine whether they are high or low. As a guide a %DV of 5% or less is considered low and 20% or greater is high.
The Truth is In the Pudding: Why Reading a Food Label helps Weight Loss
The nutrition fact label should be your guide to comparing similar looking products or finding the real truth about food and not simply believing the marketing message that’s written on the bottle. There is a saying, the ‘proof is in the pudding’ and an interpretations is this is when considering aspects of performance of how good something is in reality, the real answer is in the ingredients or the quality.
Read the label and use the %DV’s to help you. If you are concentrating on weight then make sure you loss look at calorie content, fat content and sugar content simultaneously. Try and balance these items and make trade offs for different meals. For example, perhaps a product is high in saturated fat – it doesn't mean you can’t have it in proportion.
But, have a product which is low in saturated fat at a different point in the day. Or, if product states reduced fat, it doesn't mean it is the best choice. Check the sugar content; as if the product is laden with sugar, it doesn't mean you can eat it by the bucket load (too much sugar consumed will turn into fat). Remember, a fat free product isn't calorie free. Reading labels doesn't have to be a mine field – and sometimes a small change in food products can help you be on the road to weight loss that little bit faster than expected!