Food Nutrition Facts
As more and more emphasis is placed on healthy eating, even the basic food nutrition facts can become confusing. While most people understand that a healthy lifestyle is based on diet and exercise, it can sometimes be difficult to understand how food nutrition facts are applied to daily eating. However, if you understand the basic food nutrition facts, you can learn to implement a healthy diet into your life each and every day.
Food nutrition facts are based on the components of all food. The basic food nutrition facts you need to know are total calories and calories from fat. In addition to understanding these two main components, you need to know what your ideal daily caloric intake should be. Nutrition facts labels on all food products are typically based on an average 2000 calorie diet, however that may not be the ideal daily caloric intake for you.
Caloric intake simply refers to the number of calories you can consume each day to maintain a healthy weight. Caloric intake is based on an individual's age, weight, height, activity level and even gender. You can consult with your doctor or nutritionist about your ideal daily caloric intake or you can use any number of online calculators. Obviously if you intend to loose weight, you should implement a practice of consuming fewer calories and increasing activity level.
Aside from calories alone, food nutrition facts tell us how many calories in a given food are from fat. While the body needs some fat, there are good and bad fats in food. Unsaturated and saturated fats are found in many foods and trans fatty acids, also known as trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that should be avoided. Look for foods that contain no trans fat or very little, such as less than 3%. The more foods you consume with no trans fat, the better.
In addition to calories and fat content, food nutrition facts such as food group and vitamin source should also be considered. Learn to read nutrition facts labels and pay attention to calories and trans fat. Understand the recommended nutrition guidelines including dairy, fruit and vegetable intake and try to meet the minimum recommendations whenever possible.
It can seem difficult to create a diet based on food nutrition facts, but with a basic understanding of what is healthy and what is not, you can learn to eat better. Consider that many prepared products contain artificial fats introduced during manufacturing and processing. By preparing your own meals from scratch, you can better control the fat contents of your food and by learning to read nutrition labels, you can make educated purchases of prepared and convenience foods. Try making a list of foods from each food group that you like and can prepare and make a list of fruits and vegetables you have never tried. Learn to phase fresh fruit, raw vegetables, or fat free salty snacks like popcorn and pretzels into your daily snacking routines.
Simple steps taken towards understanding food nutrition facts and how they affect your diet will help you make better food choices. When you begin to understand what you're eating and how it can affect your overall health, you will gradually begin to develop the ability to thwart unhealthy eating habits and feel better about your diet.
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