Understanding Food Labels
3 Pages

Understanding Food Labels

Course: SCI 241, Spring 2012

School: University of Phoenix

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Running head: UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS 1 Understanding Food Labels Melissa Fulcher SCI/241 Nutrition Friday May 18, 2012 Aurora Merry UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS 2 Understanding Food Labels The 5/20 rule is a simple and quick way for consumers to know if a product is healthy. The rule is simple, 5% of the daily value for an ingredient or 20%. If a product has 5% or more of ingredients such as calcium, vitamins,...

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head: Running UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS 1 Understanding Food Labels Melissa Fulcher SCI/241 Nutrition Friday May 18, 2012 Aurora Merry UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS 2 Understanding Food Labels The 5/20 rule is a simple and quick way for consumers to know if a product is healthy. The rule is simple, 5% of the daily value for an ingredient or 20%. If a product has 5% or more of ingredients such as calcium, vitamins, and even carbohydrates in some cases, it is a good source for those nutrients. If a product has higher percentages of sodium and saturated fat compared to vital nutrients, it is not a healthy food source. Food labels are set up so that people can compare food sources at a glance. The first item on every food label is the serving size and serving per package/container. This is important information because it allows a person to track the calories, fat, and nutrients they are consuming per meal correctly. Amounts listed by serving and by container/package can be extremely helpful in accurately determining what amounts they are consuming. The information pertaining to calories and calories from fat is helpful to maintain a healthy diet. For those that need to maintain a healthy diet this can be essential information to track. The next items found on food labels are the nutritional facts. Items listed first in this section are total fat, cholesterol, and sodium percentages. is This when knowing the 5/20 rule is so valuable. The human body does not require large amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, and are typically stored as excess fat. Remembering to look for foods that contain 5% or less of fat, including saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium can help to lower a persons risk of chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and some cancers. Some nutrients, also listed in this section, like calcium, essential vitamins, fiber, and iron can promote good health and even help to prevent some weight related diseases. To promote a healthy diet, consumers should select foods that have 20% or higher percentages of these nutrients. Equally important is being able to understand the information contained in the footnote at the bottom of the food label. This includes the daily value (2,000-2,500 calorie diets) according to public health experts. Although this pertains to most people, for those that need to abide by restricted diets it is vital to be able to calculate these values according to your particular dietary needs. To put it simply, the ability to read and understand food labels can be essential to your health. UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS 3 Reference U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2/15/12). How to Understand and Use the Nutritional Facts Label. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/NFLPM/ucm274593.htm
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