The front side of a food product can promise a lot of things but the reality of the product lies behind. Understanding what you’re putting in your system is essential for which one needs to comprehend not only what the label says but also learn to read between the lines.
Lucky are we to have online grocery shopping or the fact that supermarkets don't charge extra for standing in the aisle, choosing our products. Let's use that to our advantage, shall we?
Start with the Serving Size
The values are usually according to the serving size or according to 100 g. Compare the total grams of the product to the serving size. Check the total number of servings the product offers.
Check the number of calories per serving and also the calories if you consume the entire package. Understand that if the package is meant for 2 servings and you’ve eaten the entire package, the nutrients and calories double.
Nutrients to look out for
Some food products are fortified with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. When comparing food products, check which one is giving higher nutrients like calcium, iron and Vitamin B12.
On the other hand, there are also some things that you have to avoid like products high in sodium, trans fat/ saturated fat,cholesterol or sugars.
Are all Fats the same?
To make it simple, there are good and bad fats. Turn down foods with cholesterol, trans fat, high saturated fat like margarine. Pick products which have monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat.
Eye the Ingredients
The order in which the ingredients are written are the amounts in which it is present in the product. For example, when you see the below picture, water is the ingredient present in highest amount in the product following with sugar, fructose, etc.
Why is this important? Many a times the product may be trying to sell you something in the name of 'healthy' but the ingredient says it all. Eg: The company maybe trying to sell a protein bar to you but the first ingredient could be a sugar.
If you are allergic or follow a certain dietary habit make sure you are check the ingredient list properly.
We hope you feel a little more empowered after reading this article and are able to choose wisely while picking products. Remember that no effort goes in vain, once you've gone deep with the product and it's worth it, you've saved your time for life.