Get Your Label on Part 2


Hey folks so let us continue into our extravaganza of lovely label learning and continue to talk about what justifies “nutrient dense” vs “empty calories.

Classifying something as “nutrient dense” is basically saying you are getting your “money’s worth” in terms of a lot nutrients for the amount of calories consumed. Example: fruits and vegetables, and nuts are all nutrient dense. Meaning you get a significant amount of “good stuff” (fiber, vitamins and minerals etc) for the amount of kcals consumed.

Empty calories pertains to essentially getting nothing or very little that is beneficial in terms of calories consumed. Examples: potato chips, candy, pop/sugar sweetened beverages. With these products you are essentially getting calories without benefit.

My assessment of the label above: Empty calories.

1 serving (1 cup) = 250 calories
For these 250 kcal you get:
-12 g of fat
-3 g of both saturated and trans fats (the BAD fats)
(Not off to a good start)
-470 mg of sodium
-770 mg of potassium (for someone with kidney problems these last two points are a total deal breaker)
-no fiber
-low percentages of the vitamins and minerals.
-the 5g of sugar isn’t a huge deal breaker one way or the other

This item (whatever it may be) should be classified as a “treat” or a “sometimes food”.

On the flip side if this product had a lower sodium content and those fats were the mono- and polyunsaturated fats, that would be a better choice. Having more than 5g of fiber would also be a better option too.

We think about what we get for our money, it’s also important to think about if we are really getting our calories’ worth as well.

What items are your treat or indulgence foods?

Do you keep them on hand, or go out treat yourself after an achievement or for a craving?

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