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¿Why read the nutrition label?

Jan 14, 2021 3:57:06 PM / por Diabetrics Healthcare

Although it is very important to look at the nutritional information that comes with almost all the food we eat, most people do not do it. If you are one of them, we invite you to know why and how to do it.
Let us start by saying that everything we eat is reflected, in one way or another, in our physical, emotional, and mental state. Yes, to a large extent health is built from food, that is why when choosing the foods that we are going to consume, we must carefully observe what they are and the quantities each of the ingredients that make them up have.

A practical way to know these data is to look at the nutritional information label, which is found in all beverages and packaged foods, and constitutes a valuable guide for making nutritional decisions that affect your well-being in the short, medium and long term.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nutrition is "the intake of food in relation to the dietary needs of the body." Thus, good nutrition - also understood as a sufficient and balanced diet, combined with regular physical exercise - is a fundamental element of good health. In fact, conditions such as cancer, type 2 diabetes (DM2), hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases, among others, can be prevented by maintaining an adequate diet.

How to understand a nutritional label?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends taking into account nutritional information labels, which allow us to know exactly what each food we are going to consume contains and, based on this, determine whether or not we should eat it, or how much we can eat, according to our nutritional needs.

Portion size
The first thing to keep in mind is that section of the label that shows how many servings are in the package and what is the size of each serving. According to the FDA, portion sizes are given in familiar measurements, such as "cups" or "pieces." Remember that all the nutritional information on the label is based on a portion of the food in question, and that a package generally contains more than one serving.
Amount of calories
The calories indicated in the nutritional table are equivalent to one serving of the food. Thus, for example, "calories from fat" indicates the number of calories from fat present in a serving. Keep in mind that the absence of fats, shown on the label of some products, does not mean that it does not contain calories.

Daily Value Percentage
In this section, you can learn how the nutrients in one serving of food contribute to your total daily diet. It is useful to choose foods that are high in those nutrients that you should eat in greater quantity and foods that are low in those nutrients that you should reduce your intake. Although the daily values ​​are generally based on a 2,000-calorie diet, your nutritional needs will depend on the level of physical activity you perform.

Nutrients to limit
Eating fat in large quantities (especially saturated fat and trans-fat), cholesterol and sodium increases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Therefore, as far as you eat these nutrients in moderation and in the lowest amount possible, you will ensure a healthier and happier future.

Increase your intake of ...
Foods that contain nutrients like fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and potassium are essential for us to feel and stay strong and healthy. Eating these nutrients is very important to improve our health and thus reduce the risk of chronic diseases, among many other benefits.

Amount of sugar
A product greater than 5 grams per serving is considered high in sugar. The concept "low sugar" refers to the fact that it contains less than 1 gram per serving. It is important to know the type of carbohydrate that the product that we are going to eat contains, since a food whose packaging indicates "without sugar" or "light" does not imply that it is of unlimited consumption. Also know that high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, dextrose, agave nectar and sucrose, among others, are several of the terms that suggest sugar intake.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [Pdf]. How to use the Nutrition Facts Label [accessed October 15, 2019]. Available at: file: /// C: /Users/Usuario/Downloads/NutritionFactsLabel_Older%20Adults_1.pdf
Mexican Journal of Pediatrics [Medigraphic Website]. Reading Nutritional Information Labels [published October 2018; accessed October 14, 2019]. Available at:

Tags: Nutrition and Lifestyle

Diabetrics Healthcare

Publicado por Diabetrics Healthcare