How often do we look at the back of packaged food items to read the nutrition facts? Our guess is that it does not happen very often and when it does, we more often than not don’t understand what it actually means. So first of all, why is it so important to read the nutrition labels? They give us accurate information about what nutrients we will be taking and in what quantity. It helps us make informed food decisions which are very important to lead a healthy lifestyle. These following tips will guide you in reading and understanding nutrition labels so that following a healthy diet becomes a little easy.
Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from eating or drinking a food item. To maintain a healthy weight, there should be a balance between the number of calories you intake and the number of calories a body needs. On an average, a body requires 2,000 calories a day to function smoothly. Excess of it leads to problems of overweight and obesity and low quantity will lead to tiredness and lethargic behavior since body will not have enough energy to function.
Nutrients tell you about all specific nutrients the food item has and in what quantity. Some are good for the body and some are bad if their percentage is large. For example, one should be wary of the amount of saturated fat, sodium and added sugar. A lot of natural substances will have normal amount of sugar like milk, fruits etc which are not harmful to health. However, when sugar is added during the processing of the food, it makes it difficult to stay within the healthy calorie limit for the body and is hence, harmful. It also includes the amount of protein that the item has. Proteins are important for our body as they help us build our cells and our organs. A good quantity of protein is important for the body and products containing it are healthier.
The understanding of these basic facts will lead to informed decisions and will help towards leading a healthy lifestyle.