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???”