Diet 101: How To Read And Use Food Labels

Most of the nutrition labeling is devoted to breaking down the different types of nutrients in a food or drink, such as fat, sodium, and added sugar, that can affect your health. For example, too much saturated fat and sodium in your diet is linked to an increased risk of developing certain health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. For this reason, experts have provided guidelines on “healthy” recommended amounts for the average person. However, everyone’s individual nutritional needs are different, so it is best to work with a nutritionist or dietitian if you have a health condition that is heavily influenced by your diet.

A note on sugar: you may have noticed that the nutrition labels include a few different categories for sugar. “Added sugar” refers to sugars such as sucrose or dextrose that are added in the processing of certain foods, foods that are themselves packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugar from syrup and honey, and sugar from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. According to the FDA, “high-calorie diets with added sugar can make it difficult to get the recommended daily amounts of key nutrients while staying within calorie limits.” Total sugar, on the other hand, includes all added sugars that a product may contain, as well as all sugars that are naturally present, such as the sugar in milk and fruits. While there isn’t a set daily benchmark for the total sugar a person should be consuming, many experts agree that limiting the amount of added sugar in your diet is generally a positive thing. When you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, choosing a food with natural sugars like fruit is the best option when consumed in moderation.

However, the nutrients listed on the nutrition label aren’t just the ones that should be limited or avoided. The labels also include values ​​for fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium – nutrients that Americans may not get enough of and that have been identified as beneficial for overall health (but again, each person’s needs are different). For example, diets high in fiber have been shown to improve digestion and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, while diets higher in vitamin D, calcium, and iron can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and anemia. You can also find protein and carbohydrate content information on the nutritional information sheet, which can help you choose if you want to add or reduce certain nutrients in your diet.

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1Life Healthcare Inc. published this content on October 08, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by public, unedited and unchanged, on October 08, 2021 19:21:06 UTC.