In 1993, the food and drug administration wrote the rules for nutrition labeling following the passage in 1990 of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act by Congress. Since the rules were established, there has been on ongoing implementation and revision of them as new standards and new information emerges on health.
Food labeling is a good of way of getting a basic idea of what you’re getting when you buy food. Of course, they aren’t on everything, and are deficient in many ways because of their lack of vitamin and mineral information. They list only 2 vitamins and 2 minerals which they claim are the ones which are most likely to be lacking in a person’s diet. This is a flawed system, especially given the Vitamins which they chose to label; Vit. C? Anyone with a mildly varied diet should be getting their vit. Cs easily…
Anyways, here are things which i look at when analyzing a product’s label;
- Calories(although, i’ve always had a very fast and healthy metabolism, so i just skim this over)
- Saturated and trans fats(No trans fats, as little saturated fats as possible, depending on the ingredient of course. I know that when i buy butter I buy saturated fats…)
- Sodium; It’s incredible how much sodium is in ready made food. I try to buy cereals, bread, crackers and so on with as little sodium as possible
- Dietary Fiber; the more the merrier
- Sugars, the less the better
- Protein; not very important( A North American’s diet consists of more than enough protein)
- I ignore Vit. C, but look at calcium, Vit. A and Iron. Iron being the most important for women.
The label is based on a 2000 calorie a day diet, so take that into account when looking at percentages.