When we buy food in the nearest grocery store, do we often think of what is written on the labels? Do we read the labels for the products which we buy every day? It appears that food labels carry significant information about ingredients and nutrients, which we have to take into account when we decide on buying this or that food product.
Analyzing and Utilizing Food Labels
When I buy foods at the nearest grocery store, I sometimes catch myself on the thought that I do not look at labels, especially when it concerns the foods I eat daily. Labels are exceptional sources of valuable information about food ingredients and nutrients.
Trying to keep to a healthy diet, I prefer eating nonfat yogurts. One of my favorites is Brown Cow Farm Nonfat Yogurt, Apricot Mango. Its label claims that the product is “nonfat”. To be more detailed, the list of this yogurt’s ingredients includes cultured pasteurized nonfat milk. Moreover, the list of yogurt’s nutrients states that it contains total fat – 0%, saturated fat – 0%, and cholesterol – 0%. It is essential for us that in our diet we emphasize “fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). It is stated that for the product to claim that it is fat-free, it should contain “less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil” (HealthCheckSystems, 1997). We can reduce the risk of heart and related diseases by reading what is written at food labels concerning fats and cholesterol. We should count all fats included into the list of ingredients, as all of them contribute into the overall contents of fat in each specific food product. On the basis of the FDA requirements, I have to recognize that the “Nonfat” claim is absolutely appropriate in this case.
As long as mass media spread claims and call for reasonable and healthy nutrition, more and more Americans pay attention to food labels. It is clear that an average American is becoming more educated in reading food labels. Ultimately, this knowledge is essential for our health. However, there still many issues and concepts which we do not understand and which should be clarified to the mass consumer, especially in the area of newly developed food ingredients and genetically modified foods.
My traditional meal includes half of traditional Brown Cow Nonfat Yogurt’s serving. Many other products which do not have wrapped servings are usually portioned by us already before eating them. As a result there is a serious issue to be taken into account: when we read labels and think of our daily calories and nutrients’ intake we have to remember the size of the serving we usually intake.
I think that customers should pay more attention not only to the nutrients which the food product contains, but to the traditional servings they eat, especially for those foods which do not have wrapped servings. By taking less than one serving of a food product we decrease the amount of nutrients we intake. As a result, we have to base our diets on what is written on the labels with the account of servings we regularly eat.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2006). “Nutrition facts label.” Retrieved
January 2, 2008 from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/nutfacts.pdf
HealthCheckSystems. (1997). “What’s in a food label?” Retrieved January 2, 2008 from