Grab some box, bag or box of food and you will find a part of the label title Nutrition Facts. According to the law, must be food producers provide specific information about how much of certain nutrients in food, and the recommended percentage of each within a 2,000 calorie (per day) diet. Read on to understand what the numbers mean
The serving size is shown as a target, like cups or tablespoons, or as an amount, as the number of chips. It is followed by the weight in grams (28 grams equals one ounce and 16 grams equals 1 pound).
If you try to measure how many calories you eat in a day, comparing actual portion size to portion size given and adjust the number of calories up or down.
The total number of servings (servings per container), calculated by dividing the total weight of the contents of the weight per serving.
The number of calories in one portion followed by the number of calories from fat. The longer the two figures are apart, the less fat there is in the food. For example, a serving of brown rice 160 calories and 0 fat calories. One serving of butter, however, have 100 calories and 100 calories of fat. Brown rice contains no fat and butter consists entirely of fat.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that fat accounts for 20 percent to 35 percent of your daily calorie intake.
Saturated fats, which are usually solid at room temperature, comes mainly from animal sources, but they can be in pastries, too. Saturated fat increases cholesterol levels. Higher cholesterol levels are associated with cardiovascular problems and USDA recommends keeping saturated fat to less than 10 percent of the total calorie intake.
Trans fats, which are made by adding hydrogen to the fat, also affect cholesterol levels. Avoid them as much as possible.
We need cholesterol, but because our body naturally produces it, we do not get some of the food we eat. The recommendation is to eat less than 300 milligrams per day.
Processed foods are often high in sodium. Most people should limit salt to less than 2,300 milligrams. It equals 1 tsp.
The USDA recommends that carbohydrates constitute 45 percent to 65 percent of our daily calories. Fiber and sugar are both carbohydrates. Increasing the amount of fiber we ingest, particularly from fresh fruit and vegetables and reduce the amount of sugar added especially sweeteners to prepared foods, will improve our industry.
Our bodies contain thousands of types of protein and it is important that we eat protein daily. The USDA food guide recommends an intake of 91 grams of protein for a 2,000 calorie diet.
Vitamins and minerals and footnote
Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron appears as percentages, not weights. All four are nutrients we need, so look for foods with a high percentage of these nutrients.
Although it may not appear on every label, and it is not associated with the food in the container, the USDA’s recommendations for food calories of most nutrients over a 2,000 and a 2,500 calorie diet. Some brands also how many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrates and protein are the numbers the same whatever foodstuff.