How to read a food label

Currently the accelerated lifestyle has caused many people not to pay attention to all those foods they consume, this situation is dangerous as they are not aware of the substances they are carrying to their body, Based on this, we need to learn about the information on food labels and the impact they have on health.

What information does the food labels contain?
                The data presented are usually:

Size of the portion:

The first fact that appears on the label is the serving size of the food, all foods have different serving sizes, But there is one important fact that needs to be carefully considered, as not all foods contain just one portion.

                It is important to know this because many people believe that by ingesting all the contents of the packaging they are consuming what is described on the label, when in fact they are consuming perhaps double or triple for lack of knowledge.

Calories:

                Calories are the energy the body can receive at the time of consumption, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , the intake of 40 calories per serving is considered low, 100 calories is moderate and 400 calories or more is high.

                Actually this data is also relative, since also accompanied by the calories that a food contains, it is necessary to know how nutritious a food is.

Fats

Fats are not necessarily harmful, our body needs fats naturally, the problem lies in the origin of these fats, here we can appreciate saturated fats and trans fats.

Saturated fats: They are those found in animal foods, such as milk, sausages, meats and are also present in some vegetables, as in coconut oil and palm oil. These are solid at room temperature and are visible (as in chicken skin and other meats and milk fat) and invisible (contained within foods naturally).

Trans fats: Trans fats occur when food manufacturers convert liquid oils into solid fats, such as butter or margarine. Trans fats are found in many fried, "fast" foods, packaged or processed, for example: breaded and fried, lard and margarine in bar, pastries, cake mix, cake, cake dough. If the label includes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the product contains trans fats.

Cholesterol:

Cholesterol is a natural substance in our body, however, we must take care of daily intake since high levels in the body are harmful.

On a normal day the daily intake can consume portions between 450 and 600 mg, although it is recommended to be able to manage a diet containing less than 300 mg daily for an ideal balance for our health.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an elementary source of energy to our body, the body can transform carbohydrates into glucose for its proper functioning, but if it consumes much more energy than is required, the body transforms carbohydrates into fat and stores it.

In this aspect it is necessary to be careful since there are complex carbohydrates, if it is not described which are complex hydrates and which are sugars or simple hydrates, we can refer to its ingredients and see if it has sugar, fructose, sucrose or honey among its ingredients. If these names are included in its list of ingredients it is because the product contains simple sugars and should be taken into account for people with high triglycerides or diabetes, for example.

American feeding standards recommend consuming about 50% of daily calories in the form of carbohydrates, this means that the recommended dose would be 250 grams in a diet of 2000 kcal, It is also recommended to consume at least 100 to 130 grams daily for a correct balance.

Sugars

It is one of the most important data to which we must lend it, some food industries have taken care to disguise these data to benefit their sales, the sugar of the food is included in the data of carbohydrates, the sugars mentioned on the labels refer to the aggregates, these can be found as: (Dextrin, Dextrose, Diastatic Malt, Ethyl Maltol, Glucose, Glucose Solids, Lactose, Malt Syrup, Maltose, Galactose, Maltodextrin among others)

Another recurring problem is that, while natural fruit sugar does good for our health, it is one of the tricks that have been used to justify the quantities of sugar in the products.

Fiber

The fiber data of a product is also included within carbohydrates If a product has high fiber content is beneficial, but it is necessary to know its origin and that it really is natural and not added in an artificial way to be able to promote the product as high fiber [ Added fiber appears as polydextrose, inulin or oligofructose, Dietary fibre is not necessarily bad, but we need to assess the levels so that we can make sure that we are not dealing with a pseudo-food.

Sodium

Sodium naturally present in some foods should cover the recommended amounts, as the population consumes more sodium than it should. When the kidneys, in charge of removing it, cannot do so because there is an excess of this mineral, hypertension can occur.

Sodium is a component of salt and is present in some foods naturally. Salt is listed as a' sodium# on the nutrition information label and its consumption should be limited to no more than 2,4 g per day.

Allergens

Allergens are those foods that cause allergic reactions, when a product contains allergens, these are usually bold in the ingredient section, some presentations present it on the front of the packaging to prevent the consumer.

To learn more about allergens you can visit our article, click here.

Percentage value per day:

It is a guide with nutrients contained in a portion of food in relation to a standard diet, that is, if a food mentions 15% calcium, it means it provides 15% of the calcium you need daily.

That is, every day an adult who requires about 2000 Kcal is advised to consume a certain amount of sodium, calcium, fats, sugars and so on. Based on this value it is indicated how much a ration of the food that we are visualizing contributes (in percentage). Thus, a food that has more than 20% VD of Kcal is high, as only the consumption of it covers 20% of the calories that we need daily.

A commitment to nutrition by:

It is important to be able to verify that the food we consume is mostly of natural origin in order to enjoy the benefits of the same, San Juan Agroexport has green vegetables, both conventional and high quality organic, allergen-free, with safety standards throughout the process of taking them from our farms to your table, we have a commitment to nutrition, which is why #Somossanjuan.

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