The Art of Reading a Food Label is a blog post as a result from a query from one of my Facebook contacts requesting information on how to read a label.
First and foremost, I want to specify that food consumed from canned goods, in this writer’s opinion, is not the healthiest for it is processed. At Aging Younger Anti-Aging Clinic we recommend to eat organic whole foods and non-processed meat.
Now onto answering Paul’s question.
SERVING SIZE: The serving size is the basis to determine the number of calories, the amount of each nutrient and the percentage of Daily Value of the food.
AMOUNT OF CALORIES: This section is helpful for weight management. The amount of calories is noted on the left side of the label and the calories from fat in one serving is on the right side. In the picture of the sample label, there are 180 total calories of which 140 are coming from fat.
What our job as the consumer is to balance the amount of calories we eat and how many we burn throughout the day. At Aging Younger, we assist our clients with this task is by doing a body composition analysis.
The report we generate from this test will show us The client’s fat to lean body ratios.
The rate the body metabolizes in a relaxed state (BMR).
The hydration level
Recommended Nutritional program and a food group exchange list for the client’s selection.
THE FAT SECTION: These are the nutrients that we want to limit our intake on, especially saturated and Trans fat. In this section you will also see the sodium and cholesterol content. In excessive amounts, sodium and cholesterol may increase the risk of heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure.
As a side note, the sodium that is found in canned and processed food no doubly is processed and not organically harvested unrefined sea salt that we recommend to our clients.
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE: Total carbohydrate on the label includes all types of carbohydrate – sugar, complex carbohydrate and fiber. Because all types of carbohydrate can affect blood glucose, it’s important to use the total grams when counting carbs rather than just the grams of sugar.
DIETARY FIBER: Fiber is part of plant foods that is not digested or only partially digested. Dried legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains are all good sources of fiber. Fiber is healthy and unfortunately many Americans are lacking sufficient amount of fiber in their diet. The recommendation for fiber is to eat about 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.
PROTEIN: All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. The amount of food from the Protein Foods Group you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Most Americans eat enough food from this group, but need to make leaner and more varied selections of these foods. The body composition analysis test will give us an accurate amount of protein needed on an individual basis.
% DAILY VALUE: The Percent Daily Values for each nutrient are found in the right column on the label. Based on a 2000 calorie per day diet, this is telling us what percent of each nutrient the food provides.
LIST OF INGREDIENTS: Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, meaning the first ingredient makes up the largest proportion of the food. Check the ingredient list to spot things you’d like to avoid, such as hydrogenated oil or partially-hydrogenated oil, which are high in Trans fats. Unfortunately, in the USA it is not mandatory for food manufacturers to list GMO products used; just another reason to stay away from processed foods.