HOW TO READ THE NUTRITION LABELS?
The energy value and the amount of fat are two of the essential elements that must appear. Ingredients used in nutrition labels also plays a key role to match your food interests. Foods that are not packaged do not require labeling. How to read the Nutrition fact labels?
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
Food is an essential part of maintaining health. That is why in today’s society the intake of healthy foods that provide energy and nutrients is increasingly valued. Consumers have become more demanding and demand to know what they are buying. Fortunately, the laws are heading in the same direction and oblige producers to include a complete nutrition label that provides all the necessary information.
LABELS LET YOU KNOW WHAT YOU EAT
The labelling provides data on the food, its origin, its conservation, its composition and the nutrients it contains. It is the best way to communicate between food producers and sellers, on the one hand, and buyers and consumers, on the other.
MANDATORY NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Nutrition information refers to calories and the number of nutrients in food. It should appear on the labels, both food and drink. Nutrients provide energy and are necessary for growth and development. In addition, the lack of them is detrimental to health.
MUSTS ON NUTRITION LABELS
Since the end of 2016, in compliance with the Consumer Information Regulation 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council, in Spain the labelling of processed foods with clear food information is mandatory. In this sense, they must appear only and in the following order:
- Energy value expressed in kilojoules or kilocalories.
- Amount of fats.
- Amount of saturated fat.
- Although it is not mandatory, data such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, polyalcohols, starch, dietary fiber and some specific vitamins and minerals may also appear.
All nutritional information must be in the same place, have a table format, with exceptions, and include the figures in columns. It is express as per 100 gm or per 100 ml or by portions or consumption units. On the website of the Ministry of Health, the food information provided to they explain the consumer.
WHAT FOODS DO NOT REQUIRED LABELING?
There are foods that need not be labeled. They are those that are not packaged, or that are packaged in the places where they are sold, but at the request of the consumer. Neither do those that have been packaged in retail stores by the workers themselves. Likewise, it is not mandatory in alcoholic beverages with less than 1.2% graduation.
In the list of foods that do not need labelling, there are some such as
- Fruits and vegetables in pieces.
- Cured products that have only one ingredient or a single category.
- Water, even if it has gas.
- Salt and table sweeteners.
- Coffee beans or coffee extracts.
- Infusions and teas.
- A help for allergy sufferers
- Although Nutrition labeling benefits all consumers, above all it provides peace of mind and protects those who are allergic or intolerant. European Regulation 1169/2011 requires information on some products that cause allergies and intolerance such as cereals that have gluten, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame, sulfur dioxide, mollusks and lupins.
SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH
- As showed by the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Pediatric Asthma (SEICAP), 1 in 5 children have an allergy, 1 in 10 is asthmatic and between 4 and 8% have a food allergy.
- Nutrition label help you to monitor what you consume and help you to stay away from food allergies what you are allergic to. It also guides you to a balanced diet.
- If you need information about the importance of the nutritional value of some foods, we recommend that you go to a doctor to explain what percentage of fat is adequate or how much sugar you can eat in a day.
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