- Educated people remain ignorant about nutritional values on food labels
- Research finds around 57.7 percent people cannot understand the food labels
- Experts seek extensive awareness about the food labels and readings on it
Everyone talks about nutrition, and many take the effort to calculate the caloric intake per day and review the healthier choices. But what about reading the food labels? Do you ever notice the caloric value and ingredients in the food items you buy?
Thanks to the extensive consumer awareness programs, many people now take some time to read the manufacturing and expiry date of products, but the practice of reading the nutritional content of the food items is yet to be developed.
Studies show that though people consider nutritional values when deciding the choice of food, a majority ignores the food labels. It has been cited that the nutritional readings in the food labels found to be less informative for the general public. It fails to make the people understand about its contents and make a decision upon it.
Only a mere 9.3 percent of the participant population used their nutritional knowledge while shopping food. Some studies also reported that half of the world’s consumers were able to understand ‘partially,’ the information displayed on the food labels. As per researches, about 60 percent of Asia Pacific’s citizens lack proper understanding about nutritional values displayed on food labels followed by Europeans and Latin Americans.
In the Indore study, 57.7 percent participants reported ‘Don’t Understand’ while 39.7 percent said ‘Partially Understand.’ The same research also found out that 52.7 percent consumers do not check for purity standards like FSSAI (Food And Safety Standard Authority of India).
In general, the nutritional labels on food items contain information on calories, serving size, amounts or daily values of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
“I have never read the food labels except for the expiry date. It is not a consumer friendly one, and without proper knowledge, it cannot be understood by a regular customer,” shares Vishnu, a post graduate student.
Similarly, many though well-educated restrain from making use of such facilities for a healthier tomorrow. Meanwhile, the researches and nutritional experts also urge for a better food label that can be understood by everyone.
Here are a few tips to check for on food labels, according to Department of Health and Human Service, USA.
Check for the servings and calories. If it says that the particular food can be served for two, and you consume it fully, then the caloric value of it will also be doubled. In simple words, you may end up in eating food for two people.
- Have less sugar
- Different caloric Sugars
Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maple Syrup, etc. has been commonly used added sugars in juices and other food items.
- Check for trans fat
Trans fat and saturated fat food increase risk of heart diseases. Select food with polyunsaturated and monosaturated fat that contain in fish, nuts, vegetable oils, etc.
The body needs salt, but usually, we end up consuming beyond the limits. Below 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day has been considered safe for adults while the quantity of same in older salt-sensitive people is less than 1,500 milligrams.
- Avoid processed food
The higher the sodium content, the higher the chances of rising blood pressure. Cut down processed and fried food items. Check for sodium content when you buy such food.
- Take more Potassium
Eating potassium content food will balance the sodium present in our body. Potassium is high in sweet potatoes, white beans, and bananas.
- Tab on calories
As per nutritionists, 400 or more caloric values are unhealthy. Keep a tab on it in the food labels.