Nutrition - Diets for your Health

Good nutrition is important for everyone, whether you are young or old. Eating a healthy diet is a proven way to stay in your best health and feel good!  Good nutrition can help reduce the risk of some diseases.

Many of us want to eat better, but we are unsure how to develop healthy eating habits, or we are confused about the nutritional labels that are on foods. It is really not very complicated, and we hope we can simplify things for you.

You are in charge of your own health! Be informed!


Food Labels

Getting the right amount of nutrients in your daily diet is important. Today, food labels offer consumers more information than ever before. In the U.S., the following is an example of a nutrition facts label you will see on most food products. Sometimes they are difficult to understand. To the right of the label, please refer to the short explanation.

Nutrition Facts  
Serving Size:  1/2 cup (114g) <---This tells the serving size in common measurements
Servings per container:  4  
Amount per Serving <---(note product may contain more than one serving)
Calories  90         Calories from Fat 30 <---This tells the amount of calories in one serving
% Daily Value  
Total Fat 3g                                            5% <---Tells the amount of fats in one serving
Saturated Fat 0g                         0% <---Limit these in your diet
Trans Fat 0g                                  0% <---Limit these in your diet
Cholestrol 0mg                                    0% <---Limit these in your diet
Sodium 300mg                                    13% <---Limit these in your diet
Total Carbohydrate 13g                     4% <---Make sure you get enough of these in your diet
Dietary Fiber 3g <---Make sure you get enough of these in your diet
Sugars 3g  
Protein 3g <---Make sure you get enough of these in your diet
Vitamin A   80%            Vitamin C 60% <---Make sure you get enough of these in your diet
Calcium  4%                      Iron            4% <---Make sure you get enough of these in your diet
*Percent Daily Valuess are based on a 2000 Calorie Diet  

Foods are also required to list their ingredients. Below is a very brief explanation of what appears on the ingredient list on the label: 
Ingredients: Foods containing more than one ingredient are required to list each ingredient. Ingredients are listed in order of the amount of that food in the product. So if you see sugar listed first, more sugar than any other ingredient is in the product.
Artificial Colors: In the U.S., the FDA regulates all color additives. They must be listed on the ingredient list if used.
Spices, Natural and Artificial Flavors: If used must be described in the ingredient.
Alternative fats and oils: These must be identified. For example: (contains one or more of the following: corn oil, soybean oil)
Beverages containing juice must disclose the total percentage of juice in the product.

Nutrition Resources

Left Align The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) "works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers. CNPP is an agency of USDA's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services."

Nutrition Data - Here you will find a wealth of free nutrition information and tools to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle - Charts, Calculators, Blogs and News.

The Food and Nutrition Information Center - a leader in food and human nutrition information since 1971 - provides credible, accurate, and practical resources for nutrition and health professionals, educators, government personnel and consumers.

Have questions about your daily requirements or any topic on Diet & Health? Ask the Dietitian - Free information on the recommended Daily Intake, as well as calculators, and answers to questions on a wide range of topics.

Merck Manuals - These online medical manuals provide free information on Nutritional Requirements.

Nutrition Answers - an informative and comprehensive nutritional guide containing a variety of articles centered on healthy living.

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