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Mon, Feb. 17

Diet Center's Tip of the Week | What’s the big deal about reading labels?

As far as our weight is concerned it can be very important to read labels. (USDA Photo)

As far as our weight is concerned it can be very important to read labels. (USDA Photo)

Is it important to read nutritional labels?

Hi this is Eunice with Diet Center.

As far as our weight is concerned it can be very important to read labels.

Did you know that if an individual is only exercising to lose or maintain weight that person would need to walk at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour for:

– 22 minutes to burn off a 1 oz slice of American cheese.

– 60 minutes to burn off a 12 oz milk shake.

– 80 minutes to burn off a 1/6 piece of apple pie.

– 100 minutes to burn off a 1/12 piece of cake without icing.

– 130 minutes to burn off a Quarter Pounder.

Those figures are based on an average man or woman.

A survey was done in which 838 individuals participated. The results provide information on consumers’ awareness, knowledge, and use of food labels, as well as their ability to interpret nutrition information appropriately and make food choices accordingly.

The findings of the survey indicate that 61.8% of them indicated that their choice of specific foods was not based on nutrition information. The same trend has been observed with respect to the use of nutrition information when shopping, where only 9.3% of the consumers claimed that they utilize that knowledge when shopping.

In the study, 57.7% of consumers “don’t understand” the food labels, whereas 39.7% “partially understand” the food labels information. It was found that 52.5% of consumers do not read the ingredients' list written on the food label.

Learning how to label read can be confusing. If you’re having a difficult time learning to read and understand the Nutrition Facts panel, try taking it one step at a time. For example, use these tips to focus on label reading for fat content. Eventually it may become “second-nature” to you. Then you can try to understand other information such as carbohydrate content, percent daily values, etc.

– Look for “low-fat,” “fat-free,” and “light” claims (don’t forget to check the calories and sugar content! Also look at serving sizes).

– Try to select items that contain 3 grams or less of fat per 100 calories (which equals 30% or less calories from fat per 100 calorie serving).

– Select foods that have health claims referring to prevention of cancer or heart disease. Foods that are low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol are associated with prevention of these diseases (ex. fruits, vegetable, whole grains).

– Choose meat and poultry cuts with “extra lean” claims.

Developing a habit of label reading will help you lose weight and keep it off!

Don’t forget the next time you want to sneak in a high-fat treat, think about all the walking you would need to do to make up for the calories.

Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week. If you are struggling with weight loss, please let us help. Call 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave in Kingman.

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