to Read Food Labels
going to show you how to do something that the majority of Americans do incorrectly:
Read food labels. You must know how to read food labels to accurately determine
how much protein, fat and carb calories you are actually getting per serving.
the correct quantity of protein and carbs is quite easy. You simply take the gram
amount listed in the amount per servings column and then multiply that number
by 4 (one gram of protein or carbohydrates equals 4 calories). This will give
you the total number of protein or carbs per serving. See example below:
PRECISION PROTEIN (Powder)|
Serving Size: 1 Scoop or 3 Tablespoons (25.5 grams)
Servings Per Container: 35
| || ||
| ||Calories||100|| |
| ||Cholesterol||15|| mg|
| || Dietary
Fiber ||0|| g|
| || Sugars||2|| g|
| ||Protein||20|| g|
| || || || |
| ||Calcium||50|| mg|
| ||Potassium||80|| mg|
scoop of Precision Protein powder will give you 10 calories of carbs (2.5 x 4)
per serving, and 80 calories of protein (20 x 4) per serving. Getting the TRUE
fat content is a little more tricky.
most Americans are so fat conscious, food manufacturers try to give their products
more appeal by making them low fat (or at least appear so). When the labels says
"low fat", that does not necessarily mean that it is true. When a product says
"low fat" it is usually referring to the total fat calorie amount per serving.
if a product has one 1 gram of fat, it has a total of 9 calories of fat per serving
(one gram of fat equals 9 calories) and can be labeled low fat. Seems ok, right?
Well, we don't know yet, since this is not the complete way to determine the actual
fat content of the product. To really know if the product is low in fat, you must
take into account the TOTAL number of calories per serving that the food provides.
if the product has 9 calories of fat per serving and the total calorie amount
per serving is 18 calories, then the product is 50% fat per serving. Would anyone
who wants low fat foods knowingly eat a food that is 50% fat? Of course not. But
people do it all the time because they see it labeled as "low-fat".
get the true fat amount you must take into account the serving size.
this product is 100 calories per serving, so that means that each serving is 9%
fat. This product is actually low in fat, low in carbs and very high in protein.
is another example:
Original Parmesan Cheese|
| || ||
| ||Calories||20|| |
regular 8oz container of Kraft Original Parmesan Cheese says on the label that
it has 1.5 grams of fat per serving. Seems pretty low, right? Well let's see.
find out the true fat content, first multiply the number of fat grams (1.5) by
9 to get the number of fat calories per serving (13.5 calories). Then divide that
number by the total calories per serving (Calories per serving is 20). This will
give you the percentage of fat you get for each serving of this product.
this calculation, I learn that this cheese is approximately 68% fat. This is not
a good product for a low fat diet!
the formula again:
grams of fat per serving) x (9) = Total fat calories per serving
fat calories per serv.) / (calories per serving) = percentage of fat calories
to a new rule by the FDA to help stop label deception, all food labels should
have a new calculation named "calories from fat". This is the first calculation
above. Then, to get the percentage of fat for each serving, simply divide that
number by the calories per serving (step #2 above).
FDA has created rules regarding the use of certain terms on food labels. To understand
what the food actually contains, you must know what these terms mean.
Calorie " = Contains no more than 40 calories per serving.
Calorie" = Contains 25% fewer calories per serving than regular product
= Contains less than 5 calories per serving
Sodium" = Containing 140mg of sodium or less per serving.
Low Sodium" = Containing 35mg of sodium or less per serving.
= Contains no more than 0.5g of fat per serving.
Cholesterol" = Contains no more than 20g of cholesterol and less than 2g of
saturated fat per serving.
Fat" = Contains no more than 3g of fat per serving
Terms (meat products)
= Contains no more than 10g of fat, no more than 4.5g of which is saturated fat,
also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
Lean" = Contains no more than 5g of fat, no more than 2g of which is saturated
fat, also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
"No", "Zero" = Containing no amount, or a trivial amount
= Containing less than 0.5g per serving
Source" = Provides 10%-19% of Daily Value per serving
= Can mean one of three things:
a) provides 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2
the amount of fat as the regular product per serving
b) if it's a "low fat",
"low-calorie" food, it can be called "light" if it provides 1/2 the normal fat
c) can be referring to the actual color of the food itself
Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties
and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.