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Understanding Food Labels

By Kimatra Feb 26, 2013 735 Words
UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS

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SCI/241 - Nutrition
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UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Food Label and You
When discussing nutrition, there are a few topics that should be discussed when learning about how to follow proper daily nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. First, we will start with the 5/20 Rule. The 5/20 Rule:

When reading the nutrition label on any food item, you can see what is a good source of a particular nutrient and what is not. If a food has 5% or less of the daily nutrient, it is not a good source of that nutrient. If the food product has 20% or more of a nutrient, it is a good source of that nutrient. Nutrients that you may not want much of still use the 5/20 Rule. You would want to stay away from foods that contain 20% or more saturated fat or sodium and it is healthier to stay around 5% for those types of nutrients. If you want less of a nutrient, aim for 5% and if you are aiming for more of a nutrient, aim for closer to 20%. According to the video, “The 5/20 Rule: 5% DV or less – not a good source. 20% DV or more – a good source.” When you are more active, you will probably want a higher caloric intake and more carbohydrates since your active body is burning off those carbohydrates as energy.

There are six key food label facts listed on each label on a product. The first fact is your serving size. According to the percent daily value, which are “based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults” (Katherine Zeratsky, 2012), the serving size is a basis for determining how much you should eat. This includes the amount of calories, percentage of each nutrient, and how much of the daily value that particular food contains within that serving. The second fact, is the amount of calories within that serving. If you are looking to lose or maintain weight, and keep track of how many calories you consume, this is an important part of the label. The third fact is the nutrients that you should try to limit, or stay close to that 5% of the 5/20 Rule. These nutrients include Total Fat (which includes the saturated and trans fat), Cholesterol, and Sodium. Too much of these nutrients can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer. The fourth fact contains information on the nutrients you should get enough of. These nutrients include Dietary Fiber, and vitamins (which often include vitamin a, vitamin c, calcium, and iron). The fifth fact is the % of Daily Value. The percentages listed here will tell you how much of those nutrients within that serving apply to your total daily diet. So, if you have 20% of Vitamin C in that serving, that serving fulfilled 20 percent of the daily limit for that nutrient. The sixth and final fact is the footnote with the daily values. It tells the consumer that the DV is based off a 2,000-calorie diet and lists the maximum amounts of some of the nutrients.

I will show some examples by using examples from products in my own pantry and list the nutritional information:

Del Monte 50 calorie Mixed Fruit – 4 oz. can
Total Calories per serving| 50|
% of Calories from fat| 0|
Total carbohydrates| 13g|
Protein| 0g|
Dietary Fiber| 0g|

Amy’s Organic Soups – Low Fat Minestrone – 14.1 oz. can Total Calories per serving| 90|
% of Calories from fat| 15|
Total carbohydrates| 17g|
Protein| 3g|
Dietary Fiber| 3g|

StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna – 5 oz. can
Total Calories per serving| 70|
% of Calories from fat| 20|
Total carbohydrates| 0g|
Protein| 13g|
Dietary Fiber| 0g|

Works Cited
Katherine Zeratsky, R. L. (2012, 05 05). Nutrition and healthy eating. Retrieved 11 16, 2012, from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/AN00284 CDRH-TV (Producer), & Administration, U. F. (Director). (2012). The Food Label and You [Motion Picture]. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012, 02 15). Eating Healthier and Feeling Better Using the Nutrition Facts Label. Retrieved 11 16, 2012, from FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm266853.htm U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012, 09 07). Food Facts. Retrieved 11 16, 2012, from FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079449.htm

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