Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Knowledge is Power!

Here are some things to think about today:

Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of this food. Many Americans consume more calories than they need without meeting recommended intakes for a number of nutrients. The calorie section of the label can help you manage your weight (i.e., gain, lose, or maintain.) Remember: the number of servings you consume determines the number of calories you actually eat (your portion amount).
Calories from Fat section of label, also showing total calories. (#2 on sample label):
In the example, there are 250 calories in one serving of this macaroni and cheese. How many calories from fat are there in ONE serving? Answer: 110 calories, which means almost half the calories in a single serving come from fat. What if you ate the whole package content? Then, you would consume two servings, or 500 calories, and 220 would come from fat.
General Guide to Calories
  • 40 Calories is low
  • 100 Calories is moderate
  • 400 Calories or more is high
The General Guide to Calories provides a general reference for calories when you look at a Nutrition Facts label. This guide is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Eating too many calories per day is linked to overweight and obesity.
It is good to have a reference in your mind as to what is too many calories!

Look at the top of the nutrient section in the sample label. It shows you some key nutrients that impact on your health and separates them into two main groups:

   Limit These Nutrients

Label section showing Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium, with quantities and % daily values. (#3 on sample label):
The nutrients listed first are the ones Americans generally eat in adequate amounts, or even too much. They are identified in yellow as Limit these Nutrients. Eating too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or sodium may increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, like heart disease, some cancers, or high blood pressure.
 Important: Health experts recommend that you keep your intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol as low as possible as part of a nutritionally balanced diet.

   Get Enough of These

Label sections showing Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron, with % daily values and quantity of dietary fiber. (#4 on sample label):
Most Americans don't get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron in their diets. They are identified in blue as Get Enough of these Nutrients. Eating enough of these nutrients can improve your health and help reduce the risk of some diseases and conditions. For example, getting enough calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that results in brittle bones as one ages (see calcium section below). Eating a diet high in dietary fiber promotes healthy bowel function. Additionally, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Remember: You can use the Nutrition Facts label not only to help limit those nutrients you want to cut back on but also to increase those nutrients you need to consume in greater amounts.

These can and may be different needs for everyone so get to know what your needs are!

Foootnote section of label, indicating values for 2000 and 2500 calorie diets highlighting the statement: * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.(#5 on sample label)
Note the * used after the heading "%Daily Value" on the Nutrition Facts label. It refers to the Footnote in the lower part of the nutrition label, which tells you "%DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet". This statement must be on all food labels. But the remaining information in the full footnote may not be on the package if the size of the label is too small. When the full footnote does appear, it will always be the same. It doesn't change from product to product, because it shows recommended dietary advice for all Americans--it is not about a specific food product.
Look at the amounts circled in red in the footnote--these are the Daily Values (DV) for each nutrient listed and are based on public health experts' advice. DVs are recommended levels of intakes. DVs in the footnote are based on a 2,000 or 2,500 calorie diet. Note how the DVs for some nutrients change, while others (for cholesterol and sodium) remain the same for both calorie amounts.

 How the Daily Values Relate to the %DVs

Look at the example below for another way to see how the Daily Values (DVs) relate to the %DVs and dietary guidance. For each nutrient listed there is a DV, a %DV, and dietary advice or a goal. If you follow this dietary advice, you will stay within public health experts' recommended upper or lower limits for the nutrients listed, based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.

Examples of DVs versus %DVs
Based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet

NutrientDV%DVGoal
Total Fat65g= 100%DVLess than
    Sat Fat20g= 100%DVLess than
Cholesterol300mg= 100%DVLess than
Sodium2400mg= 100%DVLess than
Total Carbohydrate300g= 100%DVAt least
    Dietary Fiber25g= 100%DVAt least

Upper Limit - Eat "Less than"...

The nutrients that have "upper daily limits" are listed first on the footnote of larger labels and on the example above. Upper limits means it is recommended that you stay below - eat "less than" - the Daily Value nutrient amounts listed per day. For example, the DV for Saturated fat (in the yellow section) is 20g. This amount is 100% DV for this nutrient. What is the goal or dietary advice? To eat "less than" 20 g or 100%DV for the day.<

Lower Limit - Eat "At least"...

Now look at the section in blue where dietary fiber is listed. The DV for dietary fiber is 25g, which is 100% DV. This means it is recommended that you eat "at least" this amount of dietary fiber per day.
The DV for Total Carbohydrate (section in white) is 300g or 100%DV. This amount is recommended for a balanced daily diet that is based on 2,000 calories, but can vary, depending on your daily intake of fat and protein.
Enough reading on a Wednesday but I am hoping you are starting to get the picture on how complex these topics can be and how much you thought you knew that you may need to bone up on?

1 comment:

  1. The AlgaeCal Bone Health Program is a natural <a href="http://www.algaecal.com/osteoporosis-treatment.html>osteoporosis treatment</a> that combines all of the above advice.This natural osteoporosis treatment consists of AlgaeCal Plus, Strontium Boost and weight bearing exercise.

    AlgaeCal Plus is the world's only plant source calcium and It also includes magnesium, trace minerals, vitamin D3 and vitamin k2. Strontium Boost is a supplement consisting of strontium citrate, learn more about strontium, a powerful bone building mineral.

    ReplyDelete