Nutrition Label & Serving Size
One of the most important pieces of the Nutrition Fact Label is the recommended serving size amount.
Most of us tend to grab a bag or container, pop it open and then enjoy. We're hungry, by gosh! This isn't a reading class!
And then a day or two later, that bag of potato chips, that box of sugary cereal and even that 'healthily mix of fruit and nuts is suddenly pasted onto our backsides, our thighs, our hips and is evidenced by the rocketing numbers on our weight scales.
And we have the audacity to query ourselves: "How did this happen?"
However, don't be too hard on yourself. Even the healthiest of foods can suddenly become unhealthy when consumed in vast amounts.
Until you get a grasp on what equals a serving size, measuring your foods and beverages can assist greatly in keeping weight loss on track. Our weight is governed by the amount of calories (energy) that we consume.
Our level of health is governed by the nutritional values of the foods that we eat. To ensure healthy weight loss and continued good healthwe must balance the two.
By measuring what you eat based on the Food Group recommended servings and the nutrition labels found on food and drink packages, we can better balance our daily dietary needs while losing weight.
Therefore - if necessary or until you get comfortable with correct serving sizes, use a set of measuring cups and spoons until you master 'eyeing the correct serving sizes'. Enjoying the correct serving size equates to a smaller clothing size and/or a healthier you.
When grabbing a snack, choose the ones closest to nature for the healthiest 'picks'.
Also keep in mind that most Nutrition Fact Labels are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. If you're a small person OR if you're a larger than average sized person, take that into account and adjust your serving size.
Another important dietary point regarding Nutrition Fact Labels is that because most involve processed foods, the contents may satisfy a small portion of our nutrients.
While we're filling up on calories and many times, fats - our nutrient requirements remain empty.
Simply put, the product may contain minimal nutrition amounts to satisfy the Protein Group or the Fruit Group - but the other elements and additives of the product may cancel any health benefits and may actually impose risk to your future health via clogged arteries and so forth.
While product nutrition labels may state something to the effect of: 1 cup equals 1 serving size, the food or drink may not reside in the Food Pyramid. Examples include: cupcakes, cookies, donuts and popular desserts.
While these foods have minimal Grain Group contributions, the fat, calories and sugar content cancel out healthy benefits.
The types of foods that we choose really do matter to our future health status. For example, although strawberry jam is delicious and supplies nutrients, it can't come close to fresh strawberries for calorie and vitamin content.
You can enjoy 1/2 cup of fresh whole strawberries for about the same number of calories as a 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam.
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