Dec 052018

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Nutrition Facts tables are here to stay. Here’s my crash course, with a few insights as to what changes are coming.

Why are the fats and carbohydrates bolded on the Nutrition Facts tables? Why don’t the numbers underneath them add up? How should I read the “%DV?”

Your Nutrition Facts questions answered in this super-short crash course.

You absolutely cannot make a simpler snack than this one. Two ingredients. One minute. Pure bliss. It knocks the socks off of just about every granola bar out there, and has no added junk!

Do you ever look at the Nutrition Facts tables? Do they help you decide which foods to buy or not? Do the numbers even make sense?

To be honest, I don’t think it’s that the most user-friendly or helpful tool. But it’s good to understand it since it’s here to stay.

Let me give you a super-quick crash course on reading the Nutrition Facts tables, and give you a few hints on the new changes coming soon.

Then, try my delicious and super-easy snack recipe that’ll blow your pre-packaged granola bars out of the water.

The Nutrition Facts table is on the side of most packaged foods. It’s often found close to the ingredient listing.

 

The purpose of it is to help consumers make better nutrition decisions. When people can see the number of calories, carbs, sodium, etc. in food, they should be able to eat better, right?

Whether you like the Nutrition Facts table or not, let’s make sure you get the most out of it, since it’s here to stay!

Here’s my four-step crash course on reading the Nutrition Facts table.

Step 1: Serving Size

The absolute most important part of the Nutrition Facts table is to note the serving size. Manufacturers often strategically choose the serving size to make the rest of the table look good. Small serving = small calories/fat/carbs. So, it’s tricky.

All the information in the table rests on the amount chosen as the serving size. And, since every manufacturer chooses their own, it’s often difficult to compare two products.

In Canada, in the next few years (between 2017-2022), serving sizes will be more consistent between similar foods. This will make it easier to compare foods. The new labels will also have more realistic serving sizes to reflect the amount that people eat in one sitting, and not be artificially small.

Let’s use an example – plain, unsalted walnuts from Costco.

As you can see, right under the Nutrition Facts header is the serving size. That is a ¼ cup or 30 g. This means that all the numbers underneath it are based on this amount.

FUN EXPERIMENT: Try using a measuring cup to see exactly how much of a certain food equals one serving. You may be surprised at how small it is (imagine a ¼ cup of walnuts).

Step 2: % Daily Value

The % Daily Value (%DV) is based on the recommended daily amount of each nutrient the average adult needs. Ideally, you will get 100% DV for each nutrient every day. This is added up based on all of the foods and drinks you have throughout the day.

NOTE: Since children are smaller and have different nutritional needs if a type of food is intended solely for children under the age of 4, then those foods use a child’s average nutrition needs for the %DV.

The %DV is a guideline, not a rigid rule.

You don’t need to add all of your %DV up for everything you eat all day. Instead, think of anything 5% or less to be a little; and, anything 15% or more to be a lot.

NOTE: Not every nutrient has a %DV. You can see it’s missing for things like cholesterol, sugar, and protein. This is because there isn’t an agreed “official” %DV for that nutrient. The good news is that the new Nutrition Facts tables will include a %DV for sugar. Keep your eyes out for that.

Step 3: Middle of the table (e.g. Calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, and protein)

Calories are pretty straight forward. Here, a ¼ cup (30 g) of walnuts has 200 calories.

Fat is bolded for a reason. That 19 g of fat (29% DV) is total fat. That includes the non-bolded items underneath it. Here, 19 g of total fat includes 1.5 g saturated fat, (19 g – 1.5 g = 17.5 g) unsaturated fat, and 0 g trans fat. (Yes, unsaturated fats including mono- and poly-unsaturated are not on the label, so you need to do a quick subtraction).

Cholesterol, sodium, and potassium are all measured in mg. Ideally, aim for around 100% of potassium and sodium each day. It’s easy to overdo sodium, especially if you grab pre-made, restaurant foods, or snacks. Keep an eye on this number if sodium can be a problem for you (e.g. if your doctor mentioned it, if you have high blood pressure or kidney problems, etc.).

Carbohydrate, like fat, is bolded because it is total carbohydrates. It includes the non-bolded items underneath it like fiber, sugar, and starch (not shown). Here, 30 g of walnuts contain 3 g of carbohydrates; that 3 g are all fiber. There is no sugar or starch. And as you can see, 3 g of fiber is 12% of your daily value for fiber.

Proteins, like calories, are pretty straight forward as well. Here, a ¼ cup (30 g) of walnuts contains 5 g of protein.

Step 4: Bottom of the table (e.g. vitamins & minerals)

The vitamins and minerals listed at the bottom of the table are also straightforward. The new labels will list potassium, calcium, and iron. Yes, potassium will drop from the middle of the table to the bottom, and both vitamins A & C will become optional.

Manufacturers can add other vitamins and minerals to the bottom of their Nutrition Facts table (this is optional). And you’ll notice that some foods contain a lot more vitamins and minerals than others do.

Conclusion

I hope this crash course in the Nutrition Facts table was helpful. While you can take it or leave it when it comes to making food decisions, it’s here to stay. And it will change slightly over the next few years.

Do you have questions about it? Have you seen the new labels with a %DV for sugar? If so, leave me a comment below.

Recipe (walnuts): Delicious and Super-Easy Walnut Snack

Serves 1

8 walnut halves
4 dates, pitted

Instructions

Make a “date sandwich” by squeezing each date between two walnut halves.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Try with pecans instead.

 

ENJOY!

Yours IN Health and Happiness,

Penny

Penny Welke

I would like to induced myself Penny Welke I am happily married for 30 years, we have 4 children, 9 grandchildren My husband owns is own lawn care and snow removal business. I am a retired hairstylist of 30 years. I have work in salon and spa salon. I worked as cosmetologist for 30 years and Massage Therapists 11 years. In 2015 I got induced to wonderful company a easy solution how to get more fruits and vegetables to everyday, helping myself and others how to shred bad habits teaching others how live a healthy lifestyle. I love doing both profession because they go hand and hand. It was long and hard decision to give up my salon business but my heart wasn't in anymore, my heart led in direction in following my passion in Health and nutrition In 2009 my Avenue changed, deciding to take a leap of faith and started my own business. I working chiropractic office until he closed the doors than I had find place to do my massage business. Finding a place across from Red Robin behind mcmanion chiropractor and physical therapy building been there for 3 years. Having a passion for health and nutrition. Impacting people lives with my hands and impacting people and with their health. Teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle by shredding bad habits by creating healthy habits. Seeing the benefits of getting regular massages on a regular basis. Helps with circulation Stress Headaches, Muscle tone Helps with preventing Helps improve posture, muscle tension The modalities I do is bamboo massage, deep tissue, trigger point, warm stone, myofasacia , relaxation, pregnancy massage. Using warm towels, essential oils. I customize my services and tailor each session to your individual needs. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, reduce pain, or are recovering from an injury – I am here to help you achieve your goals through therapeutic massage. I impact people lives with my hands and I impact people lives with their health. Giving them a solution to help them with their neck, shoulders and back issues. Giving them hope through massage and wellness. More and more physicians are recommending therapeutic massage for their patients as they see all the great benefits it has. I see on average of 5 or more referrals every week from the medical community. Ask your healthcare providers if they think massage would benefit you. Whether migraines, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia or whatever your ailments are more than likely the pain and suffering can be helped with regular massage. Because of Juice Plus my family is living a healthier lifestyle. I thought I was somewhat healthy but learned with JP+ and Shred10 program what healthy really is! My body was going through a-lot hormone changes ended up with dermatitis, allergies in early 40’s. Suffered with IBS most of my life, dealing with diarrhea and constipation and rectal pain. Taking prescription medications for all of them. Taking handful of vitamins on market and spending tons of money on them. I know I needed a change. 4 years ago, I am thankful for my friend shared a simple way to flood my body with fruits and vegetables. So I decided to get started right away I noticed more energy, I no longer take medicines for my lBS , allergies or my dermatitis. I sleep better, I can focus better,I am regular and no retal pain, skin and hair is healthier, cravings shifted and rarely ever sick, my immune system improved, inflammation has greatly improved. I feel younger in 50’s than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. A process I was Making in Health everyday to live a healthier lifestyle, with one simple change. I am grateful for a solution to impact our Health and others giving them hope, provide families with a simple solution to use everyday and help them to live healthier lifestyle. Because of Juice Plus I will inspire and leave a legacy that impacts generations to come.


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