This article will help you unlearn(previous wrong knowledge on food) and to relearn and have the right knowledge about food(nutrition) and grow an attitude towards it.
Knowledge is power especially when it's the right one.
A right knowledge about;
what we eat,
when we should eat,
and how we eat it helps you cub these excesses(noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, ulcers, anaemia, rickets, osteoporosis, marasmus, scurvy, obesity and cancer etc).
From the previous health article, I talked on the right knowledge on food and what it is.
Today, I will be talking on SHOPPING WISELY.
Question(s) of the moment:
How does shopping influence my food choice and selection?
How do I achieve wise food selection while shopping?
Are there benefits attached to shopping wisely?
All these questions will be addressed as we proceed.
I will love to begin with what food choices/selection is.
Food choices simply put, is how people select the food they eat.
However there are a lot of factors influencing our daily food choice. These factors include:
Ethnic heritage or tradition
Availability, convenience and Economy
Positive and negative associations
Body weight and change
Nutrition and Health benefit
All these mentioned above influences how we make our food choices and selection which influences our shopping list.
American dietary guidelines 2005 says;
"Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol"
Note: The 5 basic food groups include, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and meat, diary and others include oil etc.
These are steps to shopping wisely
Start at the perimeter of the grocery store(where vegetables, whole grains, low-fat diary, lean protein are; please entertain no temptation towards the snack cakes, chips, sodas and other packaged/processed food obviously available.
Stop by a farmer's Market to get some raw foods for cooking.
Don't shop on an empty Stomach so you don't get tempted by the baked snacks available. Eat before shopping.
Get organized: have a weeks' worth menu with you and have a particular day set out for shopping.
Select food based on their nutrient labels/information
From the above mentioned, I will center on no 5. Good label/information, what it is and how it can help you make good food choices.
Many at times we don't check the content of what we purchase, whether expired, or to have possessed any health benefit. The labels on those products are not for fancy, it's there to enable us make wise choices on food and to tell us how much food/nutrients we consume.
Food labels provide consumers with information they need to select foods that will help them meet their nutrition and health goals.
When labels contain relevant information presented in a standardized, easy-to-read format, consumers are well prepared to plan and create healthful diets.
Many consumers read food labels to help them make healthy choices.
Food labels appear on virtually all processed foods, and posters or brochures provide similar nutrition information for fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables
Note: A few foods need not carry nutrition labels: those contributing few nutrients, such as plain coffee, tea, and spices; those produced by small businesses; and those prepared and sold in the same establishment. Producers of some of these items, however, voluntarily use labels.
However, a label must contain these;
name of the product,
batch number of the product,
method of application/directions on use,
However, I will focus on the Nutrition facts.
In addition to the serving size and the servings per container, the FDA(food and drug administration) requires that the “Nutrition Facts” panel on food labels present nutrient information in two ways—in quantities (such as grams) and as percentages of standards called the Daily Values.
The Nutrition Facts panel must provide the nutrient amount, percent Daily Value, or both for the following:
Total food energy (kcalories)
Food energy from fat (kcalories)
Total fat (grams and percent Daily Value)
Saturated fat (grams and percent Daily Value)
Trans fat (grams)
Cholesterol (milligrams and percent Daily Value)
Sodium (milligrams and percent Daily Value)
Total carbohydrate, which includes starch, sugar, and fiber (grams and percent Daily Value)
Dietary fiber (grams and percent Daily Value)
Sugars, which includes both those naturally present in and those added to the food (grams)
The labels must also present nutrient content information as a percentage of the Daily Values for the following vitamins and minerals:
All these characteristics of Nutrition facts mentioned tells you how much nutrient/one consumes per packet.
How does these Nutrition fact help me in shopping wisely, it does help;
By providing Nutrition information regarding what I want to buy, indicating whether it's healthy enough(in terms of nutrient content) or not.
In comparing same product of different company brand (in terms of nutrient content).
For e.g if I want to buy milk, and I have lots of choices to make due to there are many companies producing milk, I will check the nutrient contents of each brand and compare, whichever has the highest nutrient will be my choice, not minding if it's Peak milk, or cowbell milk, or Dano milk, or Milksi, or 3-crown, or Marvel milk, or Nunu milk etc. Do the same evaluation for all products you intend to purchase.
Know the contents of the product we want to buy and it's expiry date. This prevents food poisoning from expired foods etc.
Food label is however a very important content to look out for in every product and checking the labels helps us make awesome food choices that boosts health, thus helping us shop wisely.
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