Making Sense of the Label Language

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1 Making Sense of the Label Language

2 How Can You Really Know if a Food is a Healthy Choice? You ve seen the claims: Fat-free, Reduced Fat, Sugar-free, Reduced Sodium, Light. The claims can be confusing and sometimes misleading. How are you supposed to know what s really a healthy food choice? The next slide will help you decode the claims, but learning to read food labels will help you to get the whole scoop about what you re eating!

3 What do the claims on the front of the package mean? THE CLAIM: ABOUT FATS: Fat Free Low Saturated Fat Low Fat Reduced Fat ABOUT CALORIES: Calorie Free Low Calorie Reduced or less calories Light or lite ABOUT SODIUM: Sodium free or salt free Very low sodium Low sodium Low sodium meal Reduced or less sodium Light in sodium Unsalted or no salt added WHAT IT MEANS: Less than 0.5 gram per serving 1 gram or less per serving 3 grams or less per serving At least 25% less fat than regular version Less than 5 calories per serving 40 calories or less per serving At least 25% fewer cals than regular version Half the fat or 1/3 the calories of the regular version Less than 5 mg per serving 35 mg or less per serving 140 mg or less per serving 140 mg or less per 3.5 oz At least 25% less sodium than regular version Half the sodium of the regular version No salt added to product during processing

4 Where Should I Start on the 1. Start here 2. Check calories 3. Limit these nutrients 4. Get enough of these These recommendations are for those eating a 2,000 or 2,500 calorie per day diet Label? % Daily Values are based on the assumption that you eat 2,000 calories per day Quick Guide to % Daily Value 5% or less is considered low 20% or more is considered high High in cholesterol Low in fiber

5 Serving Size How much are you eating? The MOST important thing you ll find on the label! The serving size tells you how much of the food item all the other values are based on. Most folks will look at a small bag of chips and assume that the entire bag is one serving, but it is very common for small packages to contain several servings to make the food item appear healthier. The number of servings per container can be particularly helpful when the serving size is listed in ounces, grams, or something more difficult to visualize.

6 More on the Quick Guide to % Daily Value Looking under the % Daily Value can make label reading a lot easier! How? If something is 5% or less, it is considered to be low in that. If something is 20% or higher, it is considered to be high in that. How does that help me? To eat a healthier diet, look for foods that are closer to the low side (5% or less) in things like Saturated fat, Cholesterol, Sodium; and higher (20% or more) in Fiber.

7 Calories This helps you to identify how many calories are in the food item This information is important to help you maintain, lose, or gain weight General Guide to Calories 40 calories is low 100 calories is moderate 400 calories or more is high Remember: The number of calories listed here is based on the serving size listed at the top. Something may appear to be low in calories, but simply be for a very small serving size.

8 Calories From Fat Gram per gram, fat and alcohol contain more calories than carbohydrates or protein Fat: 9 calories per gram Alcohol: 7 calories per gram Protein: 4 calories per gram Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram Calories can come from fat, carbohydrates, protein, or alcohol. Calories listed here are from fat.

9 The remaining fat is either mono or polyunsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature. They will also be liquid in your arteries (unlike saturated fats, which are solids & will be solids in your arteries). Saturated fat is a bad fat that raises your LDL ( lousy ) cholesterol, which deposits on your artery walls, causing blockages. Saturated fat comes from animal products such as cheese, beef, milk. Should not exceed 7% of your total calories for the day. Fat Keep fat to <30% of your calories each day. Trans fats are another bad fat. These were designed to help preserve foods and keep them tasty. These fats increase your LDL ( lousy ) cholesterol AND decrease your HDL ( healthy ) cholesterol. These are labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on ingredient lists. Found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, other snack foods. Their may be a claim on the front of the package that there are No Trans Fats but that can be per serving. Look at the ingredient label to be sure. Keep them to a minimum! Less than 1% of your total daily calories.

10 Cholesterol Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day Some commonly eaten cholesterol-containing foods include: Eggs (~200mg per yolk) Shellfish (50-100mg per ½ cup) Organ meats such as liver (375mg per 3 oz.) Whole milk (30 mg per cup)

11 Watch out for processed foods! Sodium is used to help preserve them and allow for a longer shelf life. Some people African Americans, middleaged and older adults & people with high blood pressure need less than 1,500 mg per day Sodium Aim to eat <2,300 mg of sodium per day Choose frozen foods, soups, cereals, baked and other processed foods that are labeled reduced sodium Limit high-sodium condiments & foods, such as soy sauce, steak sauce, worchestershire sauce, flavored seasoning salts, pickles, olives Replace salt with herbs & spices or some of the saltfree seasoning mixes. Use lemon juice, citrus zest, or hot chilies to add flavor Try rinsing certain foods, such as canned tuna and salmon, feta cheese & capers to remove some of the sodium

12 Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are responsible for providing your body with energy Good Sources of Carbohydrates: Bread (choose whole-wheat or whole-grains) Rice (choose brown rice) Pasta (choose whole-wheat pastas) Potatoes Fruits Vegetables Beans

13 Fiber Aim to eat at least 25 g of fiber per day (If you are not used to eating a diet high in fiber, slowly increase your fiber intake to avoid gastrointestinal effects.) Foods such as whole grain breads, brown or wholegrain rice, whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, beans, fruits (especially with skins), and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Why is Fiber so Good for you? Slows the release of insulin, protecting against diabetes Helps to maintain regularity, protecting against colon cancer Provides a feeling of fullness, helping to maintain a healthy weight

14 Identifying Whole Grain Products Many products claim to be Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, or Multi Grain that are not. Look at the ingredient list for the whole story! When the first ingredient listed contains the words whole wheat, whole grain, or whole oat the food item is a whole grain

15 More on Whole Grains Be on the lookout for tricky ingredients like enriched wheat flour. It contains the word wheat, but is not a wholewheat product. Be sure to look for products saying whole wheat flour, whole grain flour, not enriched.

16 Sugar This number also includes naturally occurring sugars (like those found in fruits & milk) as well as those added to a food or drink. There is no recommended amount of sugar to be eaten per day. Keep added sugars to a minimum. To determine if the sugar is added, look at the Ingredients section of the label. If you see corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, or maple syrup listed, these are added sugars.

17 Protein Your protein needs will vary depending on your gender, physical activity level, and weight. A lot of foods that are high in protein are also high in Saturated fat. Look for lean sources of protein. Some good ideas include skinless chicken breast, lean ground beef, or lean ground turkey breast, beans, etc. To Determine Your Protein Needs (For the general population): 1. Take your weight (lbs) & divide by Take that number and multiply by 0.8. (If you are an athlete, multiply the # you got in Step 1 by 1 instead of 0.8 ). 3. That will give you a recommended # of grams of protein you should eat per day

18 Ingredient Lists The first ingredient listed is the main ingredient in the item. As you go farther down the list, there is less and less of the ingredient in the item. Identifies this food as containing trans fats

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