04+Food+Labels - Module 4 Nutrition: Understanding Food...

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Module 4 Nutrition: Understanding Food Labels Delores C.S. James, PhD, RD, LD/N, FASHA, FWMPDG-ADA Associate Professor of Health Education and Behavior
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By the end of the module you will be able to: Use food labels to make healthy food choices Explain different terms used on the Nutrition Facts Panel
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Overview Grocery stores are packed with aisle after aisle of different types and brands of foods. Food labels can help you make healthy food choices to promote optimal health.
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Smart Shoppers Ask: “How many calories are in one serving of this food?” “Does it contain cholesterol? “Is it low in sodium? “Is it a good source of dietary fiber?” “Does it contain as much calcium as the other brand?”
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Regulating Foods All processed foods in the United States must be labeled. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure that foods are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. The Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada is the FDA counterpart in Canada.
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Regulating Foods FDA does not regulate meat or poultry products. These foods are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The US Congress enacted the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act in 1990. The “Nutrition Facts” panel on labels were introduced in 1994. By 1997, 96.5% of food products had the new nutrition labels.
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Exemptions From Labeling l Some foods are exempt from labeling, but manufacturers and growers can choose to do so voluntarily. These include: l Non-packaged foods l Raw fruits and vegetables l Seafood l Spices
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Exemptions From Labeling All foods at restaurants are exempt. Some restaurants provide basic nutrition information (fat, protein, carbohydrates, calories) on their low-fat, low-calorie, or “healthy” choices.
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Nutrition Facts Panel
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Nutrition Facts Panel The Nutrition Facts section of the food label includes information on serving size, calories, fat, sodium, and other nutrients. It can be a bit confusing to understand. So, here are some tips to help you figure it out it.
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Start with looking at the serving size and the number of servings in the package. The serving size is based on the amount that people usually eat. The serving size is listed in familiar units like number of pieces or portions of a cup. For example, the serving size for a
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04+Food+Labels - Module 4 Nutrition: Understanding Food...

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