Are you at the supermarket now and getting impatient with the billing clerk for delaying your heavenly experience of digging into the new range of irresistible chocolate cookies that you’ve just bought there? Hey, wait a minute! I do not want to spoil your fun, but do you really care for what this product is made of? You might simply dismiss my query as chickenshit, but are you aware that the root cause of most lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart problems is mindless eating of foods without knowing their ingredients? No, I am not trying to wreck the happiness of your taste buds, but just proposing that wouldn’t it be a lot better if you knew the quantity of carbs, trans fats, fatty acids, proteins, minerals, fiber, sugar, preservatives, flavors, colors etc. that your food contained? After all, eating something without the knowledge of what it is made of is like letting a stranger into your house! Now, how do you like that?
Rona Ambrose Launches Online Consultations for Better Presentation of Nutrition Labels
The latest health buzz is that by being completely aware of the constituents of your food and their impact on your health, you can keep a number of diseases at bay and control the harm caused to your body by others. The importance of good nutrition is corroborated by the fact that the federal government intends to make consumers completely aware of the nutritional information of the food products that they purchase by perking up the information presented on the nutrition labels. Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose has already launched online consultations for the purpose.
Here are certain things that you should look for on a nutrition label of any packaged food or convenience food that you buy:
What is Its Good Name?
Whether getting introduced to a new person or buying packaged food, the first thing that you will be curious to know is the name of the entity. In the case of a human you might say, “What’s in a name?”, but when it comes to food products the names can show a lot. For example, the other day, I was getting confused between a hot pickle and a sweet jam, as its appearance was quite deceptive. Only the name” Sweet lemon Pickle” helped me in judging my purchase better.
What Is Its Brand?
The brand of a food product is the next thing that you should look for. Brand names enhance or depreciate your trust in the product. If the food product is from a popular brand that you trust, you will naturally trust its nutritional quality. Similarly, brand labeling can save you from buying ill-branded products.
Does It Contain Healthy Ingredients?
Commercial food producers tempt you to buy their products with tall claims about health benefits of their foods. However, be careful to read the ingredient and nutrients tables to understand if a product is really suitable for you. Persons with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, etc. should be completely aware of the ingredients used in the foods that they eat, as some ingredients do not suit them .Specifically, those with heart ailments and diabetes should be extra cautious in their food selection. You can consult a dietitian or your physician to know the foods and nutrients that are permissible for you and their quantities. After gaining this knowledge, it will become easier for you to guess which foods are good for your health.
Know How To Use The Product Perfectly
Any good brand will mention the directions of usage of its products to enable the consumer to use their product in the perfect manner. Without knowing the directions of usage, there are chances of your using the products harmfully or ineffectually. For example, few persons know the correct procedure of administration of oral hydration formulations. As a result, the chances of their misusing the product are great if the directions of usage are not mentioned.
Catch the Manufacturer by Name and Address
The manufacturer should be held responsible for the impact of his/her product on the consumer. Hence, it is important for any food package to contain the contact information of the manufacturer. Do not select items that have insufficient contact information such as a street name or a phone number. Select products where complete contact information or postal address is mentioned, as such manufacturers honestly and confidently furnish their details to the consumers.
Weight Information is a Weighty Matter
Knowing the weight of the food product that you purchase is important, as it will allow you to estimate the quantity of nutrients that you are consuming through that product. Nutrient quantities matter a lot to certain people such as weight watchers and those with serious lifestyle diseases.
You Will Never Get Fat with Ideal Serving Sizes
The federal government is trying to persuade companies to mention the ideal serving sizes of packaged food items on their nutrition labels. This information will help you in controlling the amount of the item that you consume in order to derive the maximum health benefit from it.
Price Information is Important Even for the Pricey
The price of a food product is obviously one of the first few information bits on which our eyes roam when we lay our hands on it. Without knowing the price of an item, you cannot really plan or make your purchases. In fact, packages without price information are rejected at modern mall counters by bar code readers. If the price is not mentioned on a food product you are interested in purchasing you can always take assistance for acquiring information regarding the same.
Reject Products Without Batch Number and Date of Manufacture
Though many of us are not interested in the batch number and date of manufacture of a product, they are quite important, as they allow the manufacturer to trace the faulty points in the manufacturing process, if required.
Preservatives, Artificial Colors and Flavors Information To Be Overt
Every food product should detail out the names of the preservatives, artificial flavors and colors used. The effects of these chemicals and any others used on consumers with special conditions such as diabetes should be mentioned clearly. For example, sugar-free products are made using artificial sweeteners, which should not be consumed beyond a specified amount beyond which they may cause undesirable side effects such as diarrhea. The manufacturer should mention this information on the package of the food product.
Quality Auditor Verdict Is Supreme
Good quality food products are approved by government quality auditors such as ISI, FPO or Agmark. Always look out for seals from these quality police to be assured that the item that you are buying is of genuine quality.