In today’s modern world, ‘food’ has become synonymous to “processed/packed food”. They make our lives easier, tummies happier but what about our health?? Have you ever given a thought about how the food of your day has begun and ended? It would all have started with a packed or processed food (milk, cereals) and ended with the same ( milk, ready-to-eat rava idlis, chapathis) . There is popular saying “you are what you eat”. But we really do not know what we eat. We take time to check out the expiry date, price and the brand of the food that we purchase from stores. What we fail to understand is that there is a lot more to the information there on the label.
The nutrition information label helps us to make wise choices about the food that we eat. You may wonder what is so important about this small piece of information . Actually we are being tricked to trust the foods that we eat. Here are some examples.
This is mentioned as ‘Best before’ and ‘Use by date’. Best before refers to the quality of food and indicates that the food can be consumed even after the best before date, but the food might have lost its quality or nutritive value.
Use by date indicates that the food should not be consumed after the mentioned date. This could be seen in perishable foods like dairy products.
The next important thing we see on the label is the list of ingredients used in the food product. The ingredients in the product always falls in the descending order by weight. As you go down the list, the quantity of ingredients keeps decreasing.The first three ingredients are what you will be largely consuming from that particular food product.
Nowadays, people have become more health conscious and are keen to consume a balanced diet. They scour for foods that do not add fat, maintain their sugar levels in the normal range and so on. We see many foods claiming to be “Light/Lite” for diet purposes. Light or lite doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is low in fat or energy. It may refer to the texture, colour or taste of the product. The characteristic that makes the food ‘light’ must be stated on the label. If a food item claims to be 93% fat free, it means that it actually contains 7% fat, but it looks so much better the other way.
Though we opt in for processed/ packed food, we want that food also to be ‘Fresh’.Fresh does not indicate that the food is straight from farms or free from processing. Fresh actually means the product hasn’t been preserved by freezing, canning, high temperature or chemical treatment. However, it may have been refrigerated and spent time in processing and transport.
Last but not the least the ‘Nutrients’. Nutrient claims are not always as they seem to be ! Take a look what some of the terms actually mean
No added sugar : Indicates that the food product will not contain added sugar but may contain natural sugars
Reduced fat or salt : The food should be have atleast a 25 % reduction from the original
Low fat : The food will contain less than 3% fat for solid foods (1.5%for liquid foods).
Fat free : The food product can contain up to 0.5 grams of fat per serving
Percentage of fat : 80 percent fat free is the same as 20 percent fat, which is a large
Good source of : The food product must contain not less than 25% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for that vitamin or mineral mentioned.
What is on the nutrition label of
When you look at Snackexperts label, you can get a clear idea of what the snacks are made of and its nutrient information. We do not confuse you with big terms nor make false promises. Here is what you will be seeing on the Snack pouch.
Energy : Tells you how much calories you will be consuming per 100 g of snacks approximately. Energy helps in maintaining normal body metabolism.
Carbohydrates : This readily digested form of body fuel is the main source of energy for the body and is given in grams
Proteins: Indicated in grams, it helps in body building and growth
Fats : Given in grams, this is the concentrated fuel reserve of the body as Fibres : Indicated in grams, this helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level and helps in relieving constipation.
Fibres : Indicated in grams, this helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level and helps in relieving constipation.✌ ☺.