Nutrition Facts are required by the Canadian Government to be on every packaged product. There are 5 Key areas you want to check before buying the product.
1. Calorie Count:
The calories are how much energy the food is going to give you. The daily recommended calorie allotment is between 2000- 4000 cals/day. You want to ensure each meal is not over 35% of your daily calories. That means making sure each ingredient that goes into your meal is not too high in calories.
2. Serving Size:
Serving size is very important. Most of the serving sizes are smaller than the portions of food we consume. Cereal’s serving size, for example, is half a cup most people will eat three times the serving size for a meal. The calories listed are for a serving size. When you are calculating your calories for a meal you need to use how many servings you ate. In the cereal example you would have to multiply the calories listed on the Nutritional Facts by
3. Total Carbohydrates:
Not all carbs are bad for you. Fiber is a healthy component of carbs that you want to incorporate into your diet. It will help to regulate your digestive system. Sugars are another form of carbohydrate. This Is what you want to limit. Sugar is an additive in many prepackaged foods and is a major component in the obesity crisis. You want to make sure that the foods you are consuming are low in sugar but high in fiber.
4. Total Fats:
Fats are a healthy part of a diet. You want to make sure you eat full fat foods, and foods that are high in omega 3s. Not all fats are good for you. The nutritional facts will break down the “bad” fats for you. You don’t want Trans fats in your diet, you want to limit saturated fats, and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats.
5. Daily Recommended Value (% Daily Value):
The recommended daily value is a great guide to judge if there is a lot of a nutrient in the food or a little bit. Less than 5% is low, and more than 20% is high. Depending on the nutrient you want it to be low, such as sodium, Trans fats, and sugar. Nutrients you want a lot of are fiber, Vitamins and minerals, and protein.