A couple of weeks ago we decoded three similar yet very different food terms. To recap: a food guide serving refers to the total amount of food recommended daily from each of the four food groups. While a food label serving is a specific amount of food that contains the quantity of nutrients listed on the Nutrition Facts Label and last but not least portions can be thought of as the amount of a specific food an individual eats. Following this post, I had a couple of comments regarding reading food labels, so I thought I would touch on this while the topic is still fresh.
1. Ingredients are listed in descending order, which means that if “sugar” is the first ingredient then it is present in the greatest amount. As a side note sugar likes to disguise itself in fancy names, but in general watch for names that end in “ose.”
2. If vitamins or minerals are listed they must be shown as the percentage of the total Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). But what do these percentages actually mean?
25% or greater – excellent source of a vitamin or mineral (except vitamin C, which would be 50% or greater) 15% or greater – good source of a vitamin or mineral 5% - just a source of a vitamin or mineral
A very high source of fibre has at least 6 grams of fibre per serving A high source of fibre has at least 4 grams of fibre per serving Just a source of fibre has at least 2 grams of fibre per serving.
3. Get less of these: fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but more of these: carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin A and C, calcium, and iron.
Don’t be fooled bad fat likes to be called: shortening, hydrogenated fats and oils or lard.
Image courtesy of mayhem