What is this label telling me?

 

If you are already looking at the label of your food, then I want to say you are awesome.  If you aren’t well you are awesome too, but I suggest you start checking them out.

I keep over hearing people talk about the FAT in food and that is really what they focus on like the below image:

Nutrition label

One thing we relate the fat on the nutrition label is to the fat on our bodies.  These two things aren’t the same.  They are typically made of a similar compound, but if you eat fat doesn’t mean you will get fat (meaning: directly adding the fat you ate to the fat stored on your body.)

What you need to realize is that the fat percent and the sugar percent are typically associated with your “Recommended Daily Value.”  This number really isn’t all that important and doesn’t really apply to the majority of people.

SO

Read the label a little differently.  Read the GRAMS.  1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.  As in the label above 17g x 9cal/g = 153cal.  In this example 54% of the food that this rapper came from is from fats.

If you would like to figure out for sugars(Carbohydrates) multiply the grams by 4 and for Proteins multiply by 4.   If done properly these numbers added up should give you the total calories plus or minus a few.

Our body gets all of its energy from Glucose, which is a type of sugar.  Because this type of sugar is a necessity our body is capable of making it from other sugars (Dextros, fructos, sucrose [pretty much anything ending in “os.”]  We can also make sugar from fat (stored in the body) and protein.  Our body prefers to do it the easiest way possible and will use the glucose and other sugars first, then fat and lastly protein.

Note: If you are using protein to create sugar in the body this is BAD!  Typically this is happening because you are starving and your body needs to break down your muscles to fuel the brain and heart.

In order to prevent starving our body stores the excess sugars the body ingested.  So if you ingest too many carbohydrates and too many fats your body will store them to be used later.  Notice we don’t typically store protein.  Our body only wants what it needs and breaking down protein to be stored as energy is not efficient nor healthy.

If you are looking to lose weight remember 1 VERY IMPORTANT THING:

3500 CALORIES = 1 POUND

It doesn’t matter if these calories are coming from proteins, sugars or fats.  If you consume too many of any of them you will gain weight.  If you want to lose the weight watch the calories and not really what is making them up (while this composition is important it isn’t as important as the calorie content).  Typically foods high in fat-calories are what is known as nutrition dense poor an example is a Twinkie.   A Twinkie has 150 calories per cake thing.  On the other hand, a high nutrition dense food is Spinach, which would take 21 cups to equal that of a Twinkie.  If you ate 21 cups of spinach I feel like your mouth would hurt and you would probably burn more calories eating it than you consumed.

So I hope this at least helps you start checking out the label.  I hope it sheds a little light on what the numbers mean .  I also hope you start paying attention to the calorie content of a meal versus the percent of fat or sugar in it.  And stop letting advertising make decisions for you 🙂

appleOne quick thing to consider the next time you go to the store: Have you ever had a coupon for an apple?

 

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