Nutrition Facts Label 101
By Maria England, ABS Team Member
Did you know that Food Labels were not required until 1990? Since then there has been changes to food labels to make them easier to read and required new nutrition information. This includes the newly announced labels from the FDA in May, which will have further changes and more nutrition information!
The best place to start on a food label is at the top of the food label. Here you will find what the serving size is. For ABS pancakes, one scoop is a serving size. All of the below information is in regards to this serving size. If you were use two scoops instead, you would have to multiply the calories and everything else below the serving size by two.
The next step is to look at the calories per serving, for ABS Vanilla Cake Protein Pancakes there are 140 calories per serving, it also tells you how many calories are from fat, which is 18 calories. This means one scoop will provide you with 140 calories and 18 of those calories will be from fat.
The next section breaks down the nutrients of the food. This includes the measurements, such as grams and milligrams, as well as the % Daily Value. The % Daily Value is based on a 2,000 calorie diet for carbohydrates, fat, and protein. But for vitamins, minerals, saturated fat, and cholesterol, these are based on daily recommendation amounts.
We aren’t use to thinking about fats, carbohydrates, and protein in terms of grams, so it is important to know what each gram equals in calories. For every gram of protein and carbohydrates, it equals 4 calories. In this flavor of protein pancakes there are 9g of carbohydrates, this equals 36 calories, where as with the protein there are 26g and if we multiply this by 4 calories per gram, it is 104 calories. Now for fat, it is actually 9 calories per 1g of fat and since this product has 2g of fat that equals 18 calories.
Cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and fiber are based on what is recommended to consume in a day. For instance it is recommended that we limit our cholesterol to less than 300mg a day and for sodium less than 2400mg a day. We also should be getting around 3,500 mg of potassium a day and 25g of fiber a day. These are all recommended to help reduce our chances of heart disease and other serious health diseases and to maintain a healthy body.
Another recommendation is to keep our saturated fats to less than 10% of our diet. For a 2,000 calorie diet this would be 20g, so the 7% of saturated fat on this product represents 7% of 20g. We would still be able to consume and additional 18g or saturated fat throughout the day, but the less you eat the better off you are!
In May 2016, the FDA did announce a new food label. They changed the look of the label, by making it easier to read and they also added new information. This included added sugars under sugars, which means any sugars that are added to the product like honey or granulated sugar. They also changed the serving sizes to be more realistic to what we actually see as a serving size. For example a can of soup will now be 1 serving instead of 2 since we usually eat a whole can of soup at one sitting.
Reading labels is very important because it not only tells you what is in your food but also how many calories the food has and how nutritious it is. It is also a great way to compare products to see which one is a healthier choice. ABS Pancakes is proud of our food label because not only is it a great source of protein, fiber, and calcium, it is also low in fat and carbohydrates!