When you buy a packaged food product, do you read the label on it? Most of us would say ‘No’.
Generally, the types of nutrients shown in a label include calories, fats, sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, proteins and sugars. Knowing how to read a food label will certainly help you in preventing a lot of health problems.
A beginner’s guide to reading food labels:
When buying items from the snacks category like a packet of chips, namkeen or biscuit, one must take interest on the serving size as it is clearly shows the nutritive value.
The next step is to check where the fat is coming from. More the amount of fat in a product, the more dangerous it is for heart. It should not contain any Trans fat because even 0.2 Trans fat may cause heart diseases.
Amount of sugar is also an essential part of the product. Supposedly, if the sugar content is more than 20 per cent, then it is bad for health.
When it comes to comprehend how many calories are present in the food, each item should not give you more than 150 calories per serving.
If you are eating a full bowl of chips, it amounts to almost 500-600 calories, it is equal to calorie count present a full meal.
“A manufacturer reduces the serving size. So for 20 gms of namkeen, 127 kilocalories may be written on the label. So an educated customer should see how much is the serving size and how much is their intake.
Added nutrients like vitamins, fibre, calcium and iron, even if they are fewer in number, make the quality product.
Excess salt in food
Most of the packaged items are having high quantities of sugar, which is pretty much bad for kidney health. Any item kept in preservation or frozen contains high salt as high quantity of sodium is added for preservation. One should always have a look at the quantity of sodium present in a product, especially if it is to be served to a cardiac patient, overweight people or children because higher the amount of sodium will always pave the way for higher blood pressure.
Are ice creams safe?
When buying ice cream for children, parents should see that if it contains milk and not fat in the form of vegetable oil and sugar. For example, on the ice cream packet, it may be written emulsified vegetable fat, sugar and milk powder, which is pretty much bad for health.
Comparing the nutrient labels of two similar products with equal serving size but of different brands can help the customer in choosing the right product. That is the way we can get to know which product or brand is better.