Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:40

Help! What is this Food Label Saying?

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Help! What is this Food Label Saying?










A food label provides adults and children with a lot of important information, so an informed decision can be made on whether the food will be purchased or left on the shelf. A food label displays the nutrient content of the food product.

A food label is usually found on the outside packaging of the product.


The first thing that should be noted on a food label is the serving size of the product. This is usually displayed at the top of the food label and is usually printed in Grams. Some food labels do though print the serving size in Millilitres or Milligrams as identified with the chicken soup in the example provided. Millilitres are usually displayed on drinks or dairy products like fruit juice or milk. The serving size is the keydriver for the rest of the information displayerd on the food label and dictates what the percentages will be for each nutrient.


What should be noted is that most food labels are designed for adults and aren’t ideal for kids. At the bottom of the food label it identifies what the percent daily values is calculated against .

In the example provided it shows 2,000 calories. For boys and girls under the age of 14, 2000 calories are a lot and this food label should only be used as a guide only.

Downloading the Smash! Fit for Kids application will show you how many calories your daily value should be depending on your age. You can download this application from www.smashfit4kids.com


The second thing that should be noted on the food label is the percentages displayed for common nutrients like Fats, Cholesterol, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins etc.

The percentage reading beside each nutrient lets you know how this food item can help you meet each of your nutrient requirements.


Total fats on the food label is broken down into Saturated and Trans Fats. Saturated fats occur naturally in food and is better known as the ‘bad fats’ whereas Trans fats are artifically made and are common in food items like margarine and shortening. Fat is an important nutrient that your body uses for growth and development, but you don't want to be mindful of how much you eat.


When you look at the food label above you will note that food item provides an adult with 15 calories of fat which is only 2% of an adults daily requirements. This means that an adult would need to eat other foods to get 100% of the fat needed each day.


The last section of the food label provides the adult or child with daily requirements based on 2000 and 2500 calories. It also shows the daily gram requirements for total fat, sat fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates and fiber.


Hopefully, this helps you when you are purchasing different food items from the shop or supermarket. With a little guidance you can now be mindful about what you are putting in your mouth.

Read 3301 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 21:04

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