I am the one standing (probably in your way), checking out the labels and comparing food I am thinking about possibly making a family meal with before tossing it in the shopping cart. I like to know what our family is eating but am I really reading the labels right? Looking at the ingredients is as important as checking out the Nutrition Facts table located on the side of just about every food package.
Canadians can find out if the food we are buying for our families is good enough by using the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) to make more informed choices starting by the Serving Size and then looking at the Percent Daily Value (%DV). It sounds complicated but it's not.
By using the Serving Size and %DV found on the NFt, you can pick foods that have more of the nutrients your family needs like fibre and calcium, and less of what they don't need such as saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. When cooking, this handy chart also allows you to create meals based on serving amounts and avoid overeating the things that may not be as healthy as the other.
Take a look at the NFt on your favourite foods, starting with the serving size. Looking at the Percent Daily Value (%DV) on the right side of the chart, we can see if the serving size has the nutrients we are looking for. 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot. This tells you if the product is healthy, not healthy, lots of salt, little fibre etc. Basically, should you avoid this or not.
We played Nutritional Facts detectives and investigated products to learn more for ourselves.
It showed us what to look for and what not to look for in foods. We even checked out some of our favourite cereals. Showing the difference in nutritional value according to brand. It's interesting how they compare.
This was a great exercise to help teach not only me but also my kids, the importance of making healthy choices when it comes to the food we eat. The odd treat is OK but it just may be a good idea to rethink the next time we reach for those beloved but not-so-healthy favourites on a typical grocery run.
You can learn more about the Nutrition Facts Education initiative: Focus on the Facts and learn more about the food you buy by visiting the Healthy Canadians website.
Sponsored post on behalf of Healthy Canadians. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.