Reading the food labels. Are you seeing what you believe or the facts?

By Cody Frank

As a dancer there will be at least one time in your life that you look at the label wondering how many calories you are ingesting. The question is: can you burn if off before an audition or that performance where your costume or lack of costume shows your body? Unfortunately, the food label has a few ways that sugar coat how many calories are in the actual item. Below are fly tips on how to double check that you can read the label quickly while staying informed to make healthy food choices.

1. Serving Size: Shows in measurements of cups or pieces how many servings sizes are in the package. All the food information is based off of one serving size.

Remember when looking at this section on the food label, double check how many serving sizes are in the package.

2. Amount of Calories: The amount of calories presented on the label is for one serving of food. Calories from fat represent the number of fat calories in one serving.

Remember fat free does not mean calorie free. In addition, sugar adds calories as well. Just because it’s sugar does not mean that it’s free of calories. There is no nutritional value in it. Read the label and do some basic math to see how many calories you will be eating.

3. Percent (%) Daily Value: This part is a view of how the nutrients of one serving size add to your complete daily diet. Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Utilize this section to purchase items that are high in nutrients you need and low in the nutrients that are not essential.

Remember your daily calorie diet depends on how physically active you are and other factors such as your health, age, and gender. Be sure to talk to your doctor about it.

4. Refrain from these nutrients: Eating too much of anything is not good for you. Limit your ingestion of total fats (the red flag ones are saturated fat and trans fat), cholesterol, and sodium. An excessive amount of any of those three item increases your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers, and cholesterol problems

Remember to limit these nutrients every day.

5. Eat more of this:  People often do not have an adequate amount of nutrients; specifically fiber, vitamin D, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. These nutrients are required for you to be healthy and strong.

Remember eating an ample amount of the above nutrients can decrease your risk of disease and will improve your health.

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Photo via Feather-Magazine.

Thanks to FDA and Mayo Clinic for the following resources and information.

Cover photo via countryosteopaths.
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