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Tags: Learn to read them and know how to interpret them

Tags: Learn to read them and know how to interpret them

Mireia Cervera 19 December 2016

In order to follow a healthy diet and make safe and responsible purchases, it is important that we know how to decipher food labels. Discover in this post the keys to understand in a simple and clear way all the informationtion on the labels of the foods we eat.

Labels are the "identity card" of food.

Labels are the main means of communication between prProducers and consumers who allow us to know: its origin, its way of conservation, the ingredients that compose it and the nutrients that they contribute to our diet.

When we go to the supermarket, we seldom stop to look at the labels.Taste of the foods that we are buying, all of which contain basic information about what we have chosen. Paying attention to labels should be a habit in our routines, as they are an essential tool to keeper a healthy and responsible diet.

The list of ingredients and the nutritional assessment is what most interests consumers in Spain.


A recent study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment on the interest of Spaniards in food labeling revealed that consumers consider nutritional informationThey are key when it comes to defining their diet, but they find it difficult to interpret the labels.

The same study showed that what matters most about a label is the list of ingredients, followedgives the nutritional assessment and the specific properties of the food, in this order. The general rule is that the labeling must be clear and concise and that it must never mislead the consumer as regards character.characteristics, composition, nature, qualities, quantity, origin or mode of manufacture. Here are the keys to learn to read the nutritional labels of the foods we eat. Knowing these data will help us to chooseger the ingredient suitable for our diet.

What should we look at?

1. The preferred consumption date or, in the case of highly perishable products for microbiological reasons, the expiration date . The date is not necessary for some products, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, vinegare, salt, sugar and bakery or pastry products that are consumed in the day.

2. Conservation or method of use or preparation ; It is essential to obtain a healthy and safe dish, because there are certain products thatOnce opened, they should not remain in the refrigerator for long or should be kept at a certain temperature to avoid the risk of contamination.

3. The list of ingredients consists of the mention ofall ingredients in descending order of their weight at the time they are incorporated during the manufacturing process, including additives. Those ingredients that the regulations recognize as likely to cause lto most allergies or intolerances (eggs, dairy, nuts ...)

4. Inside the nutritional table :

Portion consumed: this can give us an idea of the size of the portion that we should eat.

Kcal or energy contribution : here it is convenient to look at the energy contribution of the portion or calculate it paying attentiontion to the calories that they provide us per 100 grams of product. A product, for example, that has more than 200 kcal per 100 grams is concentrated in energy and will favor a high calorie diet.

Fat intake Ideally, choose those with less than 10 grams per 100 grams . Regarding the type of fats that thefood; if saturated ones predominate, it will tell us about an inadvisable product if we want to take care of health and blood cholesterol. While a product whose fats are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids will be beneficial.ious for the organism as a whole. We cannot forget if they contain trans fats, for this we will carefully look at the nutritional information and also review its ingredients: if it includes hydrogenated vegetable oilor partially hydrogenated, the product contains trans fats.

A food is considered high in fat when it contains 20 grams or more per 100 grams.

Carbohydrates : I will also visualize themWe per 100 grams and in some cases, it is detailed which of the total are sugars, being advisable that most of the products we purchase do not represent more than 10% sugars. 10 grams or more of sugar is considered highper 100 grams.

Fiber: the contribution of fiber is essential because it indirectly tells us about the glycemic index of the food. The amount of fiber affects our intestinal health, the body's defenses and the sacidity that we experience when consuming food. Every day we should consume about 28 grams of fiber . A product with a good amount of fiber should contain approximately 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams.

A product with more than 0.5 g of salt per 100 grams is considered highin sodium.

With all the information that we have provided, we encourage you to read what you eat because you will know more and eat better, directly affecting the health of your body.

Mireia Cervera Nutritionist Teresa Carles Healthy Foods Group - Flax & Kale