Why it is important to read nutrition facts label?

What is in your food
What is in your food

What is in your food!!!

Ignoring nutrition labels was more like a story of past. At present, nutrition labels are probably the first thing consumer reads. Nutrition labels are gaining attention day by day, but what actually nutrition label is? For a lay man, nutrition label is a set of principle information that must be printed on the product, or else it would not be acceptable by food regulation authorities.

Awareness regarding reading labels is widespread still, there exists a certain number of population by which nutrition labels go unnoticed. For them, this article would be a wakeup call to consider the importance of reading nutrition labels, for sake of their health.

What do nutrition labels tell us?

It is important to read nutrition labels of products because it gives valuable information about:

  • Product’s expiry and manufacturing date:

It is mandatory for every company to correctly mention these two dates on their products. Every product has some amount of nutrients in it, which can offer their benefits to body when used before product’s expiry date. Consuming it after expiration would result in certain harmful reactions in your body, which could even prove fatal. From the manufacturing date you can have an idea about the freshness of product. Therefore, it is important for you to know and for manufacturers, to mention them.

  • Nutrient claims:

These days a single food product comes with a wide range of varieties or options. Let’s take an example of milk; a single brand would come up with a huge variety of milk like low fat, reduced fat, skim milk, whole milk, fortified and so on and so forth. These specific claims that they promised about their product are referred as “nutrient claims”. It is worthy to read them to have an idea, of what actually you’re filling your body with.

  • Health claims:

There are people with medical conditions like diabetes, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, hypertension etc. Due to their specific medical issues, they have to be specific while making food choices. Now days, there are companies who offer food, keeping in mind these health issues. It is beneficial to read these health claims mentioned on food labels, for people who are conscious about their health.

  • Standard serving size:

How would you get to know about ‘how much at one time is enough for you’, every food item comes up with the label of standard serving size, often at the back side of packet, which let you know about how much to consume preferably at one time.

  • Nutrients in 1 serving:

Food labels also mention energy, macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients and trace minerals provided by 1 serving of food item. It is of value to read them to get aware whether you are getting the recommended amount of nutrients on the whole, or you need to modify your diet.

  • Manufacturer’s information:

This is the part where you get to know about the country where product is manufactured, company responsible for packaging and distribution, helpline number for any queries, complaints and suggestions.

  • Other relevant facts:

  1. It is important to read nutrition labels to have an idea about ingredients, preservatives, additives other chemical elements added.
  2. Often labels come up with general instructions on how to use a food product. It is good to read them, to drain best possible benefits.
  3. Reading labels can help people with specific ethical, cultural, social beliefs in choosing food items.
  4. It is beneficial too, for vegetarians, lacto- vegetarians, and lacto-ova- vegetarians to read it.