What's in a label?
Have you seen them squinched-together teeny Teeny
1/16 or 0.0625 of one full point in price. Steenth. type, all in hardto-read capital letters. No more fantasy serving sizes and unexplained grams or milligrams that mean zilch to non-chemists. No more cherry red letters on strawberry red backgrounds.
The new labels are... hang on to your bifocals... legible leg·i·ble
1. Possible to read or decipher: legible handwriting.
2. Plainly discernible; apparent: legible weaknesses in character and disposition. !
Oh sure, they'll take some getting used to. Things aren't where they used to be (or they're missing), and that "% Daily Value" is sure to confuse some folks at first. What's more, the new rules don't eliminate all our friendly food-sellers' tricks.
First let's walk through a typical label. We've numbered the key facts from most to least important. That way, fl your eyes glaze over glaze over
to become dull through boredom or inattention: the listener's eyes glaze over
Verb 1. after the first couple of numbers, at least you'll have hit the high points.
If you're a little depressed about having to learn something new, just think about:
* all the misleading claims you no longer have to wade through, like "90% fat-free" on high-fat foods or "low cholesterol" on high-saturatedfat foods;
* how nice it is to have labels include nutrients you're concerned about, like saturated fat saturated fat, any solid fat that is an ester of glycerol and a saturated fatty acid. The molecules of a saturated fat have only single bonds between carbon atoms; if double bonds are present in the fatty acid portion of the molecule, the fat is said to be and fiber, and
* how nice it is to finally have nutrition information on almost all foods.
Best of all, you can read the darn things.
1. Always check the Serving Size first. It may be a bore, but if you eat ]ess or more than what's listed, you'll have to adjust the other numbers accordingly. Bonus: Serving sizes on the new labels are more realistic.
2. % Daily Value tells you how much of a day's worth of fat, sodium, etc., the food provides. For example, this food's 36 grams of fat use up 56 percent of your dally fat limit, or "Daily Value" (DV).
But don't assume that a food has to have 40 or 50 percent of the DV for fat (or whatever) to be high. People eat 15 to 20 foods a day. Our advice: If a food has 20 percent or more of the DV, it's "high" in that nutrient. "Low" means no more than five percent.
3. Check the % Dally Value for Samrated Fat. lt's the nutrient that causes the most damage to health. Just keep in mind that cholesterol-raising trans fat trans fat
1. A trans fatty acid.
2. Trans fatty acids considered as a group.
A fat containing trans fatty acids. isn't counted as saturated fat (it's only included in Total Fat). So if the food contains partially hydrogenated oils, the label underestimates how much it will raise your cholesterol.
4. Calories from Fat helps you see how fatty a food is. For example, 330 out of 500--or 66 percent---of this Fettucini Alfredo's calories come from fat. Yuk yuk 1 Informal
1. An exuberant laugh.
2. One, such as a joke, that causes such a laugh.
tr. & intr.v. !
5. The FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration. refused to set a DV for added sugars because health authorities haven't set a limit on how much we should eat. We recommend 50 grams or less a day.
Unfortunately, the "sugars" number isn't very precise. It includes naturally occurring fruit and milk sugars. And it omits some of the longer-chain sugars that comprise up to two-thirds of some corn syrups corn syrup
Sweet syrup produced by breaking down (hydrolyzing) cornstarch (a product of corn). Corn syrup contains dextrins, maltose, and dextrose and is used in baked goods, jelly and jam, and candy. .
6. For the first time, you can compare the "% Daily Value" for "good" nutrients (Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, and Dietary Fiber dietary fiber
Coarse, indigestible plant matter, consisting primarily of polysaccharides, that when eaten stimulates intestinal peristalsis. ) with the "% Daily Value" for "bad" nutrients (fat, sodium, etc.). With the "good guys" ranging from 0 to 20 percent of the DV and the "bad guys" ranging from 35 to 100 percent, this one's a loser.
7. Interesting, but not important to check, because it's the same on all labels.