How to Understand and Use Nutrition Labels

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Guest Blogger Post

They are on every food item that you buy, but how much attention do you actually pay to nutrition labels? If you want to take proper care of your physical fitness, you cannot hope to do so without monitoring exactly what you put in your body. But so often the nutrition labels blind you with science, or just so many misleading facts, that often you are none-the-wiser about what is actually in the food that you are about to eat. The good new is, once you know how to properly read and apply nutrition labels into your diet, it is actually quite simple to understand and can help to transform your fitness plan.

Check the Serving Size
Food manufacturers do not want to make it obvious just how unhealthy their food is, so the first thing that you should do is to check the serving size at the top of the label. For example, it could say that there is only 0.1g fat on the label, but there are actually 43 servings in one candy bar, so you are eating considerably more fat than it would first appear.

Check the Calories
Next check how many calories the food contains. Although calorie-counting is discouraged in keeping a healthy lifestyle, calories are a good indication of how good something is for you. Again, these can be deceiving, as the number will usually be the amount of calories per serving. So make sure that you multiply that number by the number of servings which you intend to eat.

Recommended Daily Values
For the rest of the nutrients, there will usually be a percentage that coincides with the quantity. It shows the percentage of your recommended daily total of that nutrient that this product fulfills. This can be useful, but it is important to remember that everyone’s recommended daily value is slightly different, and this one might not apply to you. If it is out of a 2000 calorie diet, it is generally the recommended amount for women. A 2500 calorie diet is recommended for men. If you are working out, you might need slightly more calories.

Picking the Right Nutrients
There are some nutrients that you will want to limit, and some that you will want to seek out. The ones that are usually at the top of the label: fats, cholesterol, and sodium, are ones that you will want to limit as much as possible. The ones on the bottom half: fiber, vitamins, calcium, and iron, are ones that you will want to get as much of as possible. If you are working out regularly, you might need more of certain nutrients, such as protein. Generally, anything less than five percent of your daily value is low (so preferable for the top items), and anything over 20 percent of your daily value is high, and should be avoided for the top items (and sought out for the bottom items).Of course everything is good in moderation, so too much of some of the bottom items could also be a bad thing.


Author Bio: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer for SIX Nutrition, famous for making the best vitamins for men.


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