The food a person purchases is usually inside a box or other container which includes a food label printed on the outside. A food label is used to show the buyer the nutrients, vitamins, and other minerals found in the ingredients of the food. Food labels are also referred to as nutrition labels.
It is important to know about the ingredients found in food to help people plan a healthy diet. In order to learn about the ingredients understanding how to read a food label is helpful. There are many things printed on a food label everyone needs to know including the serving size, calories, nutrients and their daily values in a diet, and of course the ingredients and number of servings inside the package.
First, the serving size and number of servings per container are most often listed below the nutrition facts title. This is listed so a person can compare the size of the package to other food products that have similar serving sizes. It also allows a person to see what they actually eat. For example, if a person eats 2 cups of a product and a serving size is one cup, the numbers on the food label must be doubled.
The daily nutrition values are also listed as a percent and how much a serving of a product contributes nutritionally to a 2,000 calorie diet. The higher the percent the more value of the particular vitamin, nutrient, or mineral in the product.
Next, the food label shows the calories contained in a single serving. There are several nutrients listed that are either related to what people eat too much, or what people need in their daily diets. The nutrients listed include total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, which often are eaten too much by many people. Other nutrients that people need more of include fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. A person should try to eat 100% of these nutrients each day. The listing of many nutrients are required by the government to be shown on the labels.
The nutrients that are found in the food are usually needed for good health. A person's body is not able to make all the nutrients it needs so they are supplied by the foods that are eaten each day. There are basically six groups of nutrients that work together to keep a body healthy including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.
The main source of energy or calories are carbohydrates. Proteins also supplies energy and amino acids, which build and repair the cells in the body. Fats, besides also supplying energy, help transport nutrients through the body, provide storage and insulation for the body. Helping bodies use the energy from food are vitamins. They also control chemical reactions in the body. Every vitamin that enters the body has a specific job to do. Similar to vitamins are minerals, which help promote the reactions and form body structures. Finally, water is a part of every cell and tissue in the human body. It is needed to carry nutrients to cells and remove waste products, regulate body temperature and much more. A person's body about 55 to 75% water. This is why it is important to drink fluids regularly.
In summary, nutrition food labels are helpful for many reasons. The most important reason is to help people recognize the nutrients, vitamins, and other minerals found in the ingredients of the food. Knowing the percent, value, serving sizes, and other information will help people maintain a healthy diet and prevent them from overeating or not eating enough of important nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. If people receive the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water each day, it will help them live long healthy lives.