Sun, 12 May 2019
Spartans, here’s a riddle for you: What do lengthy financial reports and food labels have in common? Answer? To some, they might seem a bit boring and overly detailed, but they’re both really important. In this podcast, you’ll learn about some of the key ways to read a food label so you can quickly zero-in on the most relevant information impacting your health
Luckily, there is more information to be gleaned from food labels and packaging. A lot of it is in shorthand, so you should know exactly what they mean.
First, there are different ways to designate a food as having fewer calories than one might normally encounter or expect. In descending order, they are:
“Reduced.” This means that the product has at least 25% fewer calories (or a specified nutrient) than the ordinary product.
… there also the related terms “fat free” or “sugar free,” which mean ½ gram of sugar or fat in a serving
For “low cholesterol,” you’ll find 20 milligrams or less of saturated fat per serving
There’s a lot of details to remember – too many, it seems, to bother looking at when you’re rushing home from the supermarket to feed your kids, complete chores, pay bills, head for a workout for instance. Instead, pick a quiet moment or two at home when you’re not in a hurry and do some light reading. Choose a few items like cereal, granola bars, or a treat like ice cream and flip through the food labels you see. Read carefully and you’ll learn what to look for when you’re making important choices for your health.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
Durish Mozaffarian and Diyi Shangguan, “Do food and menu nutrition labels influence consumer or industry behavior?” STAT, February 19, 2019, https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/19/food-menu-nutrition-labels-influence-behavior/, accessed March 2019.
“Serving Size vs Portion Size: Is There a Difference,” eatright: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, December 18, 2017, https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/serving-size-vs-portion-size-is-there-a-difference, accessed April 2019.
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