Don’t Label Me!!…..ok fine, label me.

As promised I will now inform you how to read a Nutrition facts label.

Before I give you the step by step let me preface you with some pseudo-technical jargin.  According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance given to us by MyPyramid.gov, A “balanced” meal consists of 40-60% Carbohydrates, 25-35% fats (make sure it’s a good fat, we’ll get to that later) and 15-25% protein (that’s right kids high protein diets are NOT good, again we’ll talk later). So to begin the step by step, we start here.

1. Check the Nutrient Density (look at “good” vs. “bad” foods)

2. Look at the proportion of carbs, to fat, to protein. If it doesn’t fall into the ratio, keep looking. For example if you find a meal that has 300 calories, in order to fit the ratio the item should have 37.5g or Carbohydrates (preferably whole grain), 10g of Fat (again GOOD fat) and 15g of Protein. I know this seems high, but this is only to stay in perfect balance. We will talk later on how to modify this in order to lose weight/diet/whatever you are trying to do. I’m just translating information here. Remember don’t shoot the messenger.

3. If you can’t pronounce the first three ingredients, PUT IT DOWN!!

4. Sugar grams aren’t necessarily bad, most of the time they are just simple carbs and means that you are instantly going to use them up.

5. Trans and Saturated Fat = BAD, Polyunsaturated Fat = OK, Monounsaturated Fat = GOOD.

6. Dietary fiber, yes.  Don’t over do it because you won’t like the after effects, trust me.

7. Sodium needs to be LOW. Quick lesson the more processed the food the higher the sodium. Eat foods that looks like what they are SUPPOSED to be. This goes with step 1

I know this doesn’t cover everything, but hey, I’m still learning.

Check back for the next post: “Good Fat???”

Happy Eating,

Walker

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“Good” vs. “Bad” Food

In my quest to further educate the world of the less nutritionally savvy, I stumbled upon an article hanging in the halls of the Nutrition building at wonderful ASU Polytechnic.  At first glance it looked like nothing more than bullet points on a poorly colored piece of paper, but since I had time to kill before lab, I looked further.  The one page concise article emphasized that there should really not be “good” or “bad” food. There should be Nutrient-Dense food and Non Nutrient-Dense.  Instead of looking at your food as “good ” or “bad” the American Dietetic Association wants us to look at food as how Nutrient-Dense it is. 

Genius!!! and I’m not being sarcastic.

This makes me very happy and kinda mad all at the same time.  Happy because it will help people look at food in a much smarter way. Mad because they though of it first, but hey, they are professionals so I won’t hold a grudge.

Now the big question. How do I know if something is Nutrient-Dense?

Take a look at the label.  If the food has a poor calorie to nutrient ratio, DON”T EAT IT.  If the food is full of nutrients and has low calories, EAT IT.

Nutrients are Vitamins and Minerals, all that good stuff your Doctor, parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or whatever likes to hear you’re eating. So look for high percentages of Vitamins A, C, K, D, B and the whole rest of the alphabet and Minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and dietary fiber. These will keep you healthy and Nutrient-Dense. 

So remember there is no longer “good” or “bad” food.  There is only Nutrient-Dense and non-nutrient-dense foods.  I will create a list soon.

Happy Eating

next post will be “Don’t Label Me…..ok fine, label me”

Walker

The Beginning of the beginning

Quick intro. I’m 28 and a student at Arizona State University studying Food and Nutrition Management.  I love food, I hate diets. I am here to try and guide people through making informed decisions when it comes to eating food.  I will try my best to not use technical jargin and give advise as simply an easily as I can.  This is not a diet plan everything I will give you is purely advise based on what I have learned.

Happy Eating

walker