How To Quickly Identify Healthy Foods With The Nutrition Facts Panel

11 July 2018
 Categories: , Blog

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Many food advertisements successfully entice consumers to buy a particular product, with little consideration given to the nutritional value of the item. Most grocery stores contain a seemingly endless array of foods with varying nutritional levels. To find the healthiest packaged foods within the overall mix, consumers can rely on the Nutrition Facts label on each product.

It only takes a few seconds to visually scan the Nutrition Facts panel on most packaged food products. The unique packaging of some items may make the label a bit more difficult to read. Most consumers in search of healthy foods are primarily concerned with the amount of fat in a product, along with the level of salt and sugar content.

Overall fat content

Fat is essential for good health, but there are different types of fat in food. Always compare the individual categories of fat, rather than just noting the total amount of fat. Each gram of fat contains nine calories, regardless of whether it is a healthy fat or an unhealthy fat.

Saturated fat

Try to minimize saturated fat as much as possible. Excessive consumption of saturated fat may lead to an elevation in harmful cholesterol. You will find a surprisingly wide variation in the amount of saturated fat contained in various foods.

Unsaturated fat

The total fat contained in many foods is a mixture of saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Saturated fats are generally derived from animal products. In contrast, unsaturated fats are more likely to be derived from plants, nuts, or fish. Unsaturated fats are generally healthy to consume in moderation.

Sodium

Salt is a useful ingredient to extend the life of certain foods in storage. However, you can usually find lower levels of sodium in similar food items by comparing the different Nutrition Facts labels. Saltiness is an acquired taste, so you may find that the taste of some foods is not diminished by a reduction in sodium content.

Sugar

Individuals wishing to reduce their consumption of sugar typically cut back on soft drinks first. However, many consumers are surprised to discover how much sugar is contained in most types of fruit juice. Although vegetable drinks such as tomato juice are high in sodium content, they are usually low in sugar content. In contrast, fruit drinks are typically quite low in sodium content and much higher in sugar content.

Additional data near the bottom of each Nutrition Facts panel provides additional information about vitamin and mineral content. Check out a website like NutritionPanels.com for more information about the usefulness of the Nutrition Facts label.