Nutrition Lesson #8-Nutrition Facts & Labels

What is Nutrition?

It is the science that links foods to health and disease. It includes the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transportation and excretion of that food.

First there is food, and then there are nutrients. Food provides energy through calories. Nutrients are the substances obtained from the food we eat that are vital for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. There are 6 sources of these nutrients. They are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water.

I am going to go over each of these on a different day on my website.  I will always link to the back posts so those of you that are new can catch up.

Seven weeks ago we talked about Carbohydrates. You can read that post here.

Six weeks ago we talked about Lipids. You can read that post here.

Five weeks ago we talked about Proteins. You can read that post here.

Four weeks ago we talked about Vitamins Part 1. You can read that post here.

Three weeks ago we talked about   Vitamins Part 2. You can read that post here.

Two weeks ago we talked about Minerals. You can read that post here.

One week ago we talked about Water. You can read that post here.

Today is our last post in this series of Nutrition Lessons all on Nutrition Facts & Labels!

The nutrition label confuses a lot of people. So, let’s talk about them a little bit. At the top of the label you will find the serving size and how many servings are in the container. Pay close attention to this because some manufactures will make it so that a glance at the calories or the fat grams don’t seem so bad. It’s when you find out that there are four servings in what seems like one that you get into trouble. Below the serving size information is the calories and the nutrient breakdown of the food. Fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbs, sugars, sugar alcohols, dietary fiber and protein amounts are given in grams or milligrams. A percentage is also given, which tells you how this food fits into an overall 2000 calorie a day diet. You’ll notice that there is no % Daily Value for sugar or protein. Limiting your sugar intake is the best advice. For protein you can calculate your protein needs by dividing your body weight (in pounds) by 2.2 and multiplying by .8

Example: A 124 pound woman’s protein needs to be as follows

125/2.2 = 57 kilograms

57 kilograms x .8 = 46 grams

46 grams of protein per day

Estimated Energy Requirements

This refers to the amount of calories you would need to consume in order to maintain your current weight. The following formula is for women who are 19 years of age or older.

EER= 354 (6.91 X AGE) + PA x (9.36 X WT + 726 x HT)

EER=Estimated Energy Requirements

AGE=Age in Years

PA=Physical Activity Estimates

WT=Weight in kilograms (pounds divided by 2.2)

HT=Height in meters (inches divided by 39.4)

So a woman who is 25 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall (1.62 meters), 120 pounds (54.5 kilgrams) and has an active lifestyle would have the following EER

ERR=354-(6.91 x 25) + 1.27 x (9.36 x 54.5 + 726 x 1.62)

EER= 2323 calories

Remember to do your multiplication and division BEFORE addition and subtraction!

Okay, so all of this information is important and good to remember. However, if you eat a balanced diet and include your whole grains, fruits and vegetables in many types and colors, lean proteins and some healthy fats, you will be able to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need to maintain your healthy body. If any of you have questions feel free to leave a comment on this post and I will answer it!

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