By Christiana Mouski.
Should I start reading Nutrition Labels?
Have you ever found yourself in the supermarket among hundreds of products trying to choose the most "healthy" one, or perhaps the least harmful for your health and body weight but without knowing how? Have you bought many times products thinking they are lower in calories than others, and they ended up hiding large amounts of fat or sugar?
So if these scenarios represent you, maybe it's time to shop with your dietitian. Of course it's a little hard to actually do this so maybe it's time to get some food and drink decoding skills?
What will help is mainly nutrition labels
They contain important information about the product such as: the energy in kilojoules (kJ) and kilocalories (kcal), usually referred to as calories, for fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins, salt, etc. . Usually this information is per 100 grams of the product or per portion thereof.
What to watch out for!
Scientific research, links increased calories, fat (saturated and trans), sugars, salt (sodium) to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Conversely, fiber reduces the risk.
2,000 kcal per day is usually used as a guide for general dietary advice. Your needs may be higher or lower depending on your age, gender, height, weight and level of physical activity. You can consult your dietitian about the calories you need.
Be sure to check the calories per serving. For example, if a soft drink says 60 kcal / 100 ml, then the entire package, e.g. of 330 ml will have 198 kcal
What is important is the type of fat. It is recommended to limit saturated (meat, milk and dairy products...) and trans fats (fried foods, pastries, puff pastry...) and replace them with mono- and polyunsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, fish).
List of ingredients - Ingredients:
Another helpful tool - The ingredients are listed in order of weight, meaning the main ingredients are listed first.
So if the first ingredients are ingredients such as cream, butter or oil, this product is likely to have a high fat content
# Choose foods with:
-Higher content of dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium
-Lower content of saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars
# Avoid going shopping hungry you may make impulse purchases
# Buy fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season, they have more flavor and are usually less expensive
# For canned goods, choose fruits canned in 100% fruit juice with no added sugars and vegetables with "low sodium" or "no added salt" on the label. For frozen items, look for vegetables without sauces or seasonings, which may contain added sodium.
You can buy your favorite foods and enjoy them without regrets, always in moderation!