The Foreign Language of Nutrition

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The fear is real…what does all of this even mean…where does it come from…BUT most of all what does it do to my body.
Total Fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, calories, serving size…the list goes on and on. So why are Nutrition Labels even required? By law, any prepackaged item must contain this information. There are factors such as dieting, allergies, restricting certain nutrients or an interest in what is being consumed; that compels consumers to acknowledge what is in their food. The FDA breaks this down into six components.
First, we read what the serving size is for this particular item. The nutritional information provided shows how much is in each individual serving. Don’t let them fool you though! Most serving sizes are smaller then what we consume.
Next, it will provide how many calories is for that serving size. Calories are the amount of energy your body is receiving from this item. Across from the Calorie count you’ll find the Calories from Fat, this is the amount of actual fat found in the product. The higher the fat content, the more it is recommended to stay away from. This amount was taken from the calorie count, it does not add to how many calories are in the product.
Now we come to the Nutrients that are found in the product. Americans are known to consume an overabundance of Total Fats (saturated and trans fats), cholesterol and sodium. So what does this mean? While total fats includes all of the fats in the diet and is one of the main components of energy that comes from are calorie intake. It is recommended that we consume 25%-35% fats out of our daily calorie count. High fatty foods such as sweets and snacks, lack nutrition.  Saturated fats have no double bonds in their chemical structure, which means they will always have a solid consistency while in room temperature. Unsaturated fats typically become liquified at room temperature and are made up of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, these two fats fight inflammation and lower cholesterol and are the most recommended to consume.
Next, is Cholesterol this actually comes from your body as well as your food. Cholesterol produces steroid hormones required for development and functioning, this includes sex hormones. Another steroid hormone is cortisol, this regulates blood sugar levels and defends against infection and aldosterone. It can also create vitamin D in your body. Are bodies provide us with a significant amount of cholesterol already so it is not necessary to consume a lot of it.
Then there is Sodium, it is needed for muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, maintaining pH balance and hydration in the body. Many adults should not consume more than 2,300mg a day, on average the recommended sodium intake is 1,500mg per day.
Total Carbohydrates, Dietary Fiber, protein, and sugar are off in their own little category. Total Carbohydrates are all of the Fiber and sugars contained in a product. Dietary fiber is generally known to help in preventing and relieving constipation, but it also has other health benefits. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Fiber is mainly found in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Protein has an important role in building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Many Americans over-consume their daily intake of protein. By taking your body weight in pounds and multiplying by 0.36g you can find around how much you should be consuming daily.  Many people are familiar with sugar and the high-risk factors in consuming too much. It can help in giving your body that extra boost of energy for a short duration of time but it will also pack on the calories and bog you down. It is recommended to use sugar in moderate amounts.
Many of us lack some of the most important nutrients such as Vitamin A and C, Calcium and Iron.
Vitamin C is full of benefits from protecting against heart disease, aiding in the absorption of iron, helps to repair and regenerate tissues and so many more things. Our bodies don’t actually store Vitamin C so it important that we consume adequate amounts of it every day.
Vitamin A is also extremely important in our daily nutrition. It helps with eye sight, skin repair, maintenance of teeth, bones, soft tissue, white blood cells, immune system, and mucous membranes.
Calcium is important for our overall health, just about every cell in our body uses calcium in some way or another. Our bodies store calcium in our bones and as we age our bodies don’t absorb as much and have to take it from our bones.
Iron is important in the transfer of oxygen from lungs to cells, tissues and organs in our bodies.
We finally made it to the bottom! Here we find footnotes, this is actually broken down how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates and dietary fiber is recommended by health professionals on a daily basis, based off from a 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diet.
There is one more piece of information found on a Nutrition label and that is the daily value found on the right-hand side. The general rule for this is if the value is below 5%  the item is only contributing a small amount of nutrition to your daily intake, if the item is over 20% then it is contributing quite a bit to your daily intake.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Serving Size Per Container
 
Calories
Calories from Fat
 
%Daily Value
Total Fat
%
     Saturated Fat
%
      Trans Fat
Cholesterol
%
Sodium
%
Total Carbohydrate
%
      Dietary Fiber
%
      Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A
%
Vitamin C
%
Calcium
%
Iron
%
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
                              Calories           2,000               2,500
Total Fat             less than            65g                    80g
   Sat Fat             less than             20g                    25g
Cholesterol        less than            300mg             300mg
Sodium               less than          2,400mg          2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate                      300g                375g
   Dietary Fiber                                25g                   30g
 
 
 
 
 
ß Foot Notes
http://www.forhealthbenefits.com/why-is-iron-so-important-to-the-human-bodywhy-is-iron-important-in-human-body
http://www.sugarhistory.net/sugar-facts/health-benefits-of-sugar/
https://www.medicine.wisc.edu/rheumatology/hansenresearchcalcium
https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/vitamin-c-benefits/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm
http://www.ehow.com/about_4571150_does-vitamin-c-do-body.html
http://www.livescience.com/51975-vitamin-a.html
http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cardiovascular/cholesterol/how-the-body-uses-cholesterol.htm
http://www.myfooddiary.com/resources/nutrient_facts/nutrient_sodium.asp
http://www.livestrong.com/article/427018-what-does-sodium-do-in-the-body/
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/importance-total-fat-8598.html
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2 Replies to “The Foreign Language of Nutrition”

  1. Polyunsaturated fats are available in soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, salmon, mackerel,
    herring, almonds and flaxseed. Lecithin oil — has been around since 1929 — has been used being an emulsifying agent,
    enabling fats as well as other lipids to be dispersed in water.
    Saturated fat raises cholesterol: There are kinds of
    saturated fats and never all saturated fat affects levels of cholesterol in the same
    way.

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