No matter your health status, understanding what that Nutrition Facts label is really telling you is critical to knowing if the product in your hand is right for you.. When looking at this label many people will only look at one piece of information. For example, some people only look at total carbohydrates, some look for the item with the least amount of total fat and others look only at the calories. Many consumers don’t understand that all the information included on the label works together and is equally important when making a decision about what you take home with you.
START FROM THE TOP
Take a look at the serving information. There are two parts, which are important in understanding the nutritional value that you will end up consuming.
- Serving size – the amount of product considered when calculating the nutritional value. For example, on a box of cereal the serving size may be 1 cup, a carton of ice cream could have a serving size of ½ cup and a 2 liter bottle of soda can have a serving size of 8 fluid ounces.
- Servings Per Container – tells the consumer how many total servings sizes there are in the entire package. For example that box of cereal with a 1 cup serving size has about 13 servings meaning 13 cups in the box. The carton of ice cream with ½ cup serving size has 12 servings in the container meaning there are 6 cups total in the carton.
Now ask yourself “how does the portion I’m eating compare to the serving size listed?” This is how you ultimately calculate your nutritional intake from any item. It’s also important to understand that the listed serving size is not a recommendation of how much you should eat or drink. It is merely the amount of product that, when consumed, provides the nutrition values listed on the label. If you consume more than the stated serving size, the nutritional intake will go up in proportion with that intake.
BELIEVE THE HYPE: CALORIES COUNT
You may have seen conflicting arguments when it comes to calories, but calories count! They matter in maintaining, losing or gaining weight. Remember that “Low Fat” does not necessarily mean “Low ”. Use the Healthy Weight Tool Kit in the Resources section of Allulose.org to find weight maintenance calculators for men and women. Remember choosing low calorie options often aid in weight loss and in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Sugar has become confusing due to the labeling on the front of our products: sugar-free, low-sugar, no added sugar, all natural and so on. Always looking at the Nutrition Facts label helps cut through the buzzword jargon. First, it’s important to understand that sugar is not fat. Sugar is listed under the carbohydrates, which is also where you find fiber. When looking to reduce your calorie intake, choosing items using low calorie sweeteners like allulose really come in handy. Allulose can help reduce calories while maintaining sugar-like taste and texture in a food or beverage.
You can find more information about nutrition labels at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website here and further facts about allulose at allulose.org.