The Nutrition Facts Label and PCOS
What is the Nutrition Facts label?
The Nutrition Facts label explains what nutrients (components of food your body needs to grow and stay healthy) and how much of those nutrients are in found in one serving of the food. It's located on the outside of most food packages, but isn't on most fresh foods (such as fruits and vegetables or meats). The Nutrition Facts label can help you make choices about the food you eat.
What will every Nutrition Facts label have on it?
Every label will have the following nutrients listed:
- Serving Size
- Servings per Container
- % Daily Value
- Calories (total)
- Calories from Fat
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Other nutrients can also be put on the Nutrition Facts label if the company that makes the food wants them to be. Some of the other nutrients that can be put on the label include potassium, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and other vitamins and minerals.
What should I look for on the Nutrition Facts Label?
The first thing you should look at is serving size. The amount of each nutrient on the label is what's found in one serving of that food, not in the whole container. If you don’t know what one serving size is, you won’t know the amount of each nutrient you're actually getting. For example, a large bag of microwave popcorn has three servings in it. It's okay to eat more than one serving at a time, but it's important to know that if you eat the whole bag, you’d be getting three times
what's listed on the label.
Do I need to read every Nutrition Facts Label?
No. You don’t need to keep track of every nutrient you are eating. Just take a look at Nutrition Facts labels once in a while to help you choose foods that will give your body the nutrition it needs. For example, if you don’t drink much milk, you should read Nutrition Facts labels to help you find foods that are high in calcium. You can also use the Nutrition Facts label to compare two different foods. For example, if you are deciding between two different kinds of breads, reading the Nutrition Facts labels can help you make a healthy choice. Consider choosing the bread that has the highest amount of fiber.
The food label lists a 2000-calorie diet. Should I be eating 2000 calories?
Probably not. Many adolescents need more than 2000 calories as they grow in height, build bones, build muscles, and stay active. The 2000–calorie diet is just an estimate and is used to help calculate the Percent (%) Daily Value listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
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