It is a well known fact that junk and processed foods,with their glossy appearance, make up half of our daily energy intake. They make our lives easier, tummies happier but what about our health?? Sadly, the hidden ingredients in these processed foods are responsible for the influx of diabetes and obesity in our generation. All of us are well aware of the health risks but not all of us can lead our lives without these foods!
The nutritional label on the foods help us to make wise choices about the food that we eat. Therefore ,while buying junk/processed food , take time to turnover and read the food label , pay attention to the number of calories(mostly empty calories) in your food. Actually we are being tricked to trust the foods that we eat. The first step in reading the food label is your calories.
What do they mean?
Just as petrol/diesel is needed to run our vehicles, calories are essential to fuel our bodies. For eg: 1gm of fat in our food supplies 9 kilocalories of energy whereas the same amount of protein/ carbohydrate supplies only 4 kilocalories. Every food serving that we take also counts as it determines the amount of energy that we get from food calories. So look at the serving size and the number of servings(provided in grams) in the food package.
For example, the nutrient content and the number of calories listed on the label is influenced by the food serving size. The nutrient content listed is actually for every single food serving and not for the whole pack. And the food package may contain 4-5 servings. So it is important to pay attention to the serving size of your favourite snack or breakfast cereals. Also,keep a check on the number of servings(1/2, 1 or more) that you eat so as to keep your weight in control.
Next to calorie content, the list of ingredients used in the food product occupies an important place on the food label. 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 few ingredients are what we will be largely consuming from that particular food product.But what about the remaining on the list ? They indicate the hard-to-pronounce food additives along with fats ,sugar in their other forms.(Sugar in the form of maltose , glucose, fructose, corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose or high fructose corn syrup; Fats in the form of margarine lard,hydrogenated fats, shortening, coconut oil or palm kernel oil.)So the calories we eat shouldn't be empty calories but those that will provide us with nutrients as well.
Keep track of the calorie intake in your daily diet and lead a healthy life!".