Nutrition labels can be notoriously hard to read and comprehend and often can leave you feeling confused, overwhelmed and not even sure how good or bad a food product really is for you. Luckily GourmetFuel is to the rescue! In short, we are going to give you some informative tips on how to read the important parts of food labels and the key nutrients to look out for. Here is How to Read a Nutrition Label.
How to Read a Nutrition Label
Our sleeves provide the per 100g nutritional information, which is mandatory by law, and the nutritional info per portion or meal made, making it easier for our customers to understand and avoid unnecessary calculations to figure out calories, or g’s of protein per serving. Here are some of the common mistakes when people try to figure out How to Read a Nutrition Label:
Once people see a ‘high fat’ content per 100g serving they immediately place the product back on the shelf. However, it is not the amount of fat in the product that needs to be considered but also the type.
A high fat product is one classed as having greater than or equal to 17.5 grams/100g total fat content. To clarify, all of this fat may not be bad, some could be healthy fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fats or Omega 3’s.
For example, our Almond and Sesame Salmon with Sweet Potato contains 11g of total fat per 100g, with only 2g being from saturated sources. In other words, the rest is from monounsaturated and Omega 3 sources, which are highly beneficial. In essence, this is a good thing – that this meal is highly nutritious!
Carbs can sometimes be seen as the devil, when in fact it is the quality of the carbohydrate content that is important. . It reduces appetite, prevents constipation and reduces the risk of obesity, T2 diabetes and CVD.
Our Nutty Cauliflower Rice with Asian Greens is a primary example of this, it contains 7 grams of carbs/100g with almost half of it, 3 grams/100g coming from dietary fibre. An excellent choice for a healthy and versatile veggie lunch!
The sugar content can also be a deciding factor in whether people buy a product or not, with a low sugar product defined as less than or equal to 5 grams/100g. Our Oatmeal with Blueberries and Raisins has 7 grams of sugar/100g but this comes mainly from natural sources such as the berries and raisins, making it a healthy carbohydrate fuelled breakfast option to set you up for the long workday ahead.
The micronutrient contents of products can be very confusing. There are many numbers jumping out of the label at you.
Bottomline, the most important vitamins to look out for on food labels are your B-vitamins, Vitamin A, D and C, especially in the midst of a global pandemic and coming into winter for immune functions. For overall general health, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc are the most prominent minerals to notice.
We all need an adequate intake of each vitamin and mineral each day so we thought it would be cool to show you how much of these all important nutrients are in each GourmetFuel meal. Our sleeves present the micronutrient information alongside the Daily Recommended Values (DRVs) for both males and females so the consumer can recognise the broad range of nutrients our meals contain. This is one of the big differences between our sleeves vs. standard nutrition labels.
Not only do we include all of the Mineral and Vitamin content of our meals, but we also include two other important pieces of nutritional information: Cholesterol and Omega 3s.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
Omega 3s are essential fats that the body can’t make them from scratch so must get them from food. Foods high in Omega-3 include fish, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.
How to Read a Nutrition Label: Vitamins
Vitamins allow your body to grow and develop. They also play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. Unlike other food companies, we believe it’s important to know how much of each essential vitamin you are getting from food, including vitamins A, C, D, E, and K and B vitamins such as riboflavin and folate. The best way to meet your vitamin needs is to eat a balanced diet containing a variety of foods.
How to Read a Nutrition Label: Minerals
Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions – from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.
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Annie is our Business Development Manager here at GourmetFuel. Annie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Innovation at the Technology University of Dublin. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked for a successful start-up company based in New York City where she gained valuable experience in product development, food safety, and allergen management and control. Her areas of interest are food business sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition research.
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