How Many Calories To Eat In Order To Lose Weight Lose Weight by Reading the Nutrition Facts Label

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Lose Weight by Reading the Nutrition Facts Label

The Nutrition Facts label that appears on all food packaging is required by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its purpose is to help you make informed food choices that contribute to a healthy diet. The FDA has established guidelines for human health in general. However, we as individuals have to decide for ourselves whether the food inside a package meets our specific nutritional needs and any particular health conditions we may have, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on.

Fats, proteins and carbohydrates are the primary nutrients for good health. All are essential to our bodies. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of these nutrients varies according to age, gender, physical activity and physical condition.

Two simple guidelines apply to most American diets:

  • Limit total fat, cholesterol and sodium. They increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure. Snacks like chips and crackers are often high in fat, and are the NOT healthy types of fat: saturated fat and trans fat. These two are connected.
  • Get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron to improve your health and reduce the risk of certain diseases and conditions. Fiber promotes healthy bowel function. Calcium helps healthy bone formation. Fruits, vegetables and grains provide fiber and vitamins.

One of the best uses for the Nutrition Facts label is for product comparisons. You can use this label to decide which product is healthier for you. You can also use the nutritional information to make dietary compromises throughout the day. If a food you eat is high in fat or sugar, choose low-fat, sugar-free foods later in the day.

Grab a package of food and look for these items on the nutrition facts label.

Portions it tells you how much of the food inside equals one serving. All other information on the label is based on one serving.

Servings per container tells you how many servings are in a packet. Most packets have more than one serving. Be aware of how many servings you eat, because you need to multiply other nutrients by that number.

Calories is the total number of calories (energy from fat, carbohydrates and protein) in one serving of the food. This information is important if you’re counting calories for weight loss or maintenance.

Calories from fat tells you how many gods Calories in one portion they come from fat. 100 is moderate and 400 or more is high.

% Daily Value (DV) is the percentage of the recommended daily value (according to the FDA) provided by one serving. It is based on a 2000 calorie per day diet. If this value is greater than 20%, food is a good source of that nutrient; 5% DV or less is low.

Totally fat includes four types of fat: Saturated fats, Trans fats, Polyunsaturated fatsAnd Monounsaturated fat. Unhealthy fats are saturated fat (should be less than 20g DV) and trans fat (should be 0%). These two fats raise LDL cholesterol and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. The RDI for total fat is 65 grams (g). If you’re following a low-fat diet, fat-free products often contain added sugar for flavor.

Cholesterol is a substance found in animal products. Too much cholesterol intake is not healthy for your heart. The maximum RDA for cholesterol is 300 milligrams (mg).

Sodium tells you the amount of salt in a serving. Low-sodium diets for high blood pressure and weight-loss diets often limit sodium intake. The RDI for sodium is 2400 mg.

total carbohydrates includes fiber and sugar. Dietary fiber it helps with digestion and keeps us full between meals. Most of us don’t get enough fiber every day. The RDI for fiber is 25 grams. Sugars provide instant energy. Depending on the food, sugars can be natural or added. Too much sugar can be unhealthy and cause weight gain. Healthy diets suggest keeping sugars below 30 grams per day. If you’re following a low-carb diet, sugar-free products typically contain additional fat for flavor.

Protein helps build muscle and fight infection. The amount of protein a body needs varies. For example, babies and children need less protein, pregnant and nursing mothers need more. For adults, the RDI is 50 grams. The RDIs established by the FDA are based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. Proteins are found in animal and plant products.

Vitamins tells you the amount of vitamins in one serving of the food. Some packaged foods contain added vitamins; some do not provide vitamins. Vitamins are best found in raw foods rather than packaged foods.

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