#NutritionFactsLabel – Your Key to #HealthierFoodChoices by Dt. Vaidehi Nawathe, Chief Dietician – Bhaktivedanta Hospital & Research Institute
What are the things you check when you pick up packaged food at a store – price, date of manufacture/expiry, weight, ingredients? Do you check the Nutrition Facts Label or overlook it?
As dieticians we recommend our patients to inculcate the healthy practice of paying close attention to the nutrition label on the food packet. This label contains a wealth of health information that enables us to evaluate how healthy the food is and whether to take the food packet/container home or just leave it right there in the store. The nutrition label states facts regarding nutrients that impact health concerns like - weight control, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Ways to Decode the Nutrition Facts Label:
1. Start with checking the serving size/weight and servings per packet/container
2. Know your family’s daily calories intake requirement and in view of that check the calories mentioned on the label
3. For each nutrient listed on the label check the Percent Daily Value (% DV) i.e. the percentage of nutrient you get in each serving or 100 grams of that particular packaged food against its daily requirement for the day – 5% or less % DV is low and 20% or more % DV is high
4. Limit the intake of trans-fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and refined carbohydrates
5. Get enough of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals
6. Read the footnotes
The health of your family is in your hands and every choice you make counts. Today onwards read the Nutrition Facts Label prior to making a purchase. Remember the key to choosing the right packaged foods is the Nutrition Facts Label and learning to decode the same is the #NeedOfTheHour.