Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Read Food Nutrition Label and Use it to Lose Weight.

Nutrition Facts is a label required on all the packaged food in most of the countries. In this post, I'm gonna tell you how to understand that label.

Let's take a simple example Lays (28g pack)-

8 major parts of Nutritions Facts Label

  1. Serving Size(g): It tells about recommend serving size, so if your serving size is 2 then you'll be eating double the calories.
  2. Total Calories(cal/Kcal): Total calories and Calories from Fat in 1 serving. You can calculate approx. total calories by Nutrition facts
    [Total calories(kcal) = (Fat x 9) + (Carbohydrate x 4 ) + (Protein x 4) ]
  3. Total Carbohydrates(g): are made up of Dietary Fiber and Sugars. Fiber help us to prevent Chronic Diseases. It is recommended to consume 25g of dietary fiber per day. Whole grains, beans and fruits are good source for fiber. One gram of Carbohydrates is approx. equal to 4 cal.
  4. Total Fat(g): tells all types of fats in grams. One should not take more then 20% of required calories per day from Fat. You can check various types of Fats here. Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated are the healthy Fats, while Trans and Saturated Fats are unhealthy(tends to increase LDL which is bad Heart and increases Blood Pressure). One gram of Fat is approx. equal to 9 cal.
  5. Protein(g): a healthy individual  should take more than 20% of required calories from Proteins. Dairy product, peas, sprouts, eggs, meat and nuts are good source of proteins. One gram of Protein is approx. equal to 4 cal.
  6. Sodium: increases risk of high blood pressure. One should not consume Sodium more then 1000mg per day.
  7. Cholesterol: found in bloodstream. Higher Cholesterol can clog arteries so increase the risk of heart disease.
  8. Vitamins & Minerals: Here comes the best part of food which promotes good health and prevent diseases. you can check required value per day on wiki page. Source of Vitamins can be Meat, fish, poultry, Leafy green vegetables, fruits, Milk and milk products,enriched breads and cereals.

Weight Loss / Weight Gain Examples

Your body needs energy for breathing, circulating blood, repairing cells and all other bodily functions. Making sure you eat enough food can help ensure that your body has enough energy to develop and work properly. Our metabolism and how many calories your body needs each day is influenced by your age, gender and physical activity habits which can be calculated from here.

  • Weight Loss/Gain: As you already know, One gram of Fat is equal to 9 cal. So to reduce 100g of weight (Fat) either you should intake 900 calories less or you should burn 900 calories by Exercise (1km running burns around 80 calories ). Rest is maths, you can calculate how much exercise is needed to lose x grams of weight. Below you can find Calorie Sheet of common foods.

Hopes, It will be helpful for you.


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