“You are what you eat”: Check the Labels
Learning is power, and knowing is strength! As we buy food, we should be aware of its contents and claim therefore we should check the labels.
There are five simple ways of debunking the Food Labels:
- Look at the serving size. Compare the serving size on the package to the amount that you eat. If you eat the serving size shown on the Nutrition Facts Table you will get the amount of calories and nutrients that are listed.
- Look at the calories. Calories tell you how much energy you get from one serving of a packaged food.
- Look at the Percent Daily Value (% Daily Value). % Daily Value puts nutrients on a scale from 0% to 100%. This scale tells you if there is a little or a lot of a nutrient in one serving of a packaged food. Use this percentage to compare the nutrient content of different foods.
- 5% DV or less is a little
- 15% DV or more is a lot
- Try to get more of these nutrients. Fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium.
- Try to get less of these nutrients. Fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol.
Why are Food Labels beneficial to us? Because it can help us…
- Compare products more easily.
- Find out the nutritional value of foods.
- Better manage special diets, such as one that is low in sodium.
- Increase or decrease your intake of a particular nutrient (for example, increase fiber, decrease saturated fat).
All-time HIGH and LOW!
If a food product is labeled Low – Low Salt, Low Fat, Low Calorie, Low Cholesterol, and so on, in a particular nutrient simply means that you can eat several servings without exceeding the recommended daily limit.
In addition, when a food product is labeled High – High Calcium, High Fiber, and etc… it implies it contains 20% more than the base nutrient value the food contain.
- Low Fat products have fewer than 3 grams of per serving.
- Low Saturated fat contains less than 1 gram per serving.
- Low-sodium means it has less than 140 milligrams per serving.
- Low cholesterol means 20 mg or less and fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat.
- Low-calorie products have fewer than 40 calories per serving.
- High Fiber products have at least 6 grams of Dietary fiber per serving or 20% from the base nutrient content.
No vs Zero!
When a packaging says “No Trans Fat”, “No Cholesterol”, do not be fooled food products carrying this label can still have up to half a gram of trans-fat per serving, according to the FDA. The difference of which with Zero is the word itself, when a packaging says “Zero gram Trans Fat”, “Zero Cholesterol” it simply implies it has none as in zero.
Gardenia, Whole Wheat Bread is one great example of these food labels hence, “High in Fiber, With Vitamins and Minerals, Zero Trans, Cholesterol-Free Food.”
What better way to enjoy Gardenia’s Whole Wheat Bread with this undeniably healthy and delicious recipe.
Gardenia Asparagus and Feta Sandwich
- Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a pan. Cook asparagus. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon. Chop into bits. Set aside for toppings.
- Pour the beaten egg in pan then add asparagus, green peas, red bell pepper, salt and pepper. Wait for 2 minutes then add feta cheese. Top the bacon bits on frittata. Get a slice of Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf then top asparagus frittata. Garnish parsley and serve.
- 2 slices Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf
- Egg 1pc, beaten
- Green Peas ¼ C
- Asparagus ¼ C
- Salt 1/8 tsp
- Pepper 1/8 tsp
- Feta Cheese ¼ C
- Tomato 1pc medium, slice
- Olive Oil 1 Tbsp
- Bacon 2 strips
- Red Bell Pepper, 1 pc small, minced
- Parley, garnish
- Decoding the Nutrition Label – https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Nutrition-Labelling/Decoding-the-Nutrition-Label.aspx
- How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label – https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-education-resources-materials/how-understand-and-use-nutrition-facts-label
- What Food Labels Really Mean – https://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/22/what-food-labels-really-mean.