Monthly Archives: June 2011
Every value on the Nutrition Facts panel is based on the nutrients found in one serving, so if you look at nothing else on the label, pay attention to this section! Most people are surprised at how small the serving sizes on packages seem compared to the amounts they typically consume. Many beverages, for example, are sold in 16- or 20-ounce bottles, but list the serving size as only 8 ounces. If you drink the whole bottle, you’ll be getting two or more times the amount of nutrients indicated on the Nutrition Facts panel!
With slick packaging and descriptions, manufacturers can make nearly anything look good on the grocery store shelves, but the Nutrition Facts panel is the place to go for the most straightforward information found on the entire label. This treasure trove of data is usually on the side or back of the package and is designed to give you an idea of how the product contributes to your total daily nutrient needs.
Reading food labels helps you learn about food products, their ingredients, and their nutritional values, and is a key skill in choosing healthy foods. The standards for food labels in the United States fall under the direction of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Stay abreast of changes to food label information and legislation by checking out CFSAN’s website on food labeling and nutrition at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/lab-gen.html.
Confusion about nutrition information is at an all-time high. Consumers are increasingly pressed for time and energy and are looking to maximize their grocery dollar. Studies are released daily that seem to contradict what you know (or thought you knew) about good, common sense nutrition. Eggs are bad; eggs might lower cholesterol. Butter is heart disease in a stick; margarine is one step away from plastic.