Food labels aren’t new and it is quite common to see people reading these labels at supermarkets and food stores while choosing the products. In most cases, the food choices are influenced by these labels and the content printed on them. Nutrition facts are an important aspect of these food labels and usually, people look at them to understand what they are eating and how many calories they may consume. Although you may have read these labels several times before, have you ever focused on the anatomy of the nutrition label? If not, this post guides you through the features of food labels printed with nutrition facts.
Common Features of Nutrition Facts on Food Labels
Nutrition facts on food labels may comprise the following information:
- Serving Size:
This gives you an idea of how much may be a single serving of the food item. For instance, a label may read like 10 servings per container, and the serving size is 50 grams.
- Total Calories:
This usually shows the calories in a single serving. For instance, the calories in a single serving is 250 and if you consume more than 1 serving then you need to multiply the serving size by 250 to get the actual amount of calories. This value is usually favored by most health-conscious people who count every calorie they consume. Any food item that has less than 40 calories per serving is termed as a low-calorie diet. The term calorie-free indicates less than 5 calories per serving.
- Total Fat
This is the combined term for saturated and Trans fats, which are individually listed. Any food item that gives more than 20 grams of fats per day is not ideal for health because saturated fats can increase your bad cholesterol. This increases the chances of stroke and heart attacks. Does that mean trans fats are good? No, they are equally bad. These fats increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes and even type II diabetes. A food item is considered heart-healthy if it provides only half a gram of fat or sugar per serving.
Ideally, food items with 0mg cholesterol are considered heart-healthy. This is only found in plant-based diets. Baked items and most sugary foods are loaded with cholesterol and they may accelerate the chances of heart attack or other diseases in people who consume them on a regular basis.
- Total Carbohydrates:
This term may symbolize total fiber and sugar in a single serving. It is always recommended to choose food items with high fiber content because it helps reduce cholesterol, as well as normalize blood sugar levels. While reading the food labels always focus on the fiber and sugar values. At times, you may find food items that have a high level of fiber and sugar. Although you may be drawn to the fiber part, it is still fine to avoid the item due to high sugar levels. Sugar in any form may give a quick burst of energy, but they trigger triglyceride levels, which may hamper your heart health and diabetes.
They are an integral part of your healthy diet. Having said that, it is not mandatory to indicate Daily Value for Protein on the food label. You must eat poultry, lean meat, low-fat milk, yogurt, legumes, and soy products to acquire a daily dose of proteins.
- Vitamins and other nutrients:
Like proteins, vitamins are also an important part of the diet. The human body requires different vitamins for its proper functioning and deficiencies of these may lead to several health problems. It is always recommended to read this section carefully on the food labels because it helps decide if you are getting sufficient nutrients for your body. It is always better to choose food products that comprise more than 20% vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Knowing these features will aid in better decision-making for buyers. Along with providing the right information, the food manufacturers also understand the importance of buying these labels from trusted label manufacturers. Performance Label Company is one of the leading manufacturers of food labels in the US. The company provides these labels in various shapes such as oval, round, square, and rectangle, as well as materials such as gloss white, semi-gloss, clear, die-cut and vinyl. They can be availed in a wide variety of laminates and adhesives to meet your requirements.
Related Blog Posts:
- Mandatory Information to Be Printed on Food Labels: Part 1
- Mandatory Information to Be Printed on Food Labels: Part 2