Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

January 18, 2013

The mystery of food labels

Nutritionists educate residents on the basics of serving information

ANDERSON, Ind. — Reading food labels can be intimidating, but by keeping a few things in mind those labels can help consumers lead a healthier life, experts say.

Michelle Richart, community and diabetes educator at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, said they do a lot of label education with patients undergoing diabetes care.

There are four different parts to a label — serving information, the raw numbers, the recommended daily intake and the vitamins and minerals. Richart said the serving size is one of the most critical pieces to that puzzle stressing that it is important to know what an actual serving size is as it impacts the rest of the label.

Jenny Martin, Community Hospital Anderson nutrition coordinator and registered dietician said most people are getting significantly more than what a typical serving is.

“I think they would be absolutely surprised to see what an actual serving size is,” she said.

The “raw numbers” give consumers the number of grams or milligrams of things like fat, calories, carbohydrates and other items, Richart explained. And often next to that raw number is a percentage that shows what portion of the recommended daily intake is for someone consuming a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

But she stressed if you aren’t following that particular diet then that number essentially is pointless.

“When you look at a label, focus on what is most important to you,” Richart said. “We teach our patients to look at that thing first. If you have a heart condition it may be the sodium. If you have diabetes you look at something different.”

Martin said that labels have changed over the years and what is included on them is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Know what you are looking for before you look at the label,” she said. “It can be confusing if you don’t understand what you are targeting. People can make things more difficult than they actually are. Look at the grams and milligrams over the percentages.”

Ingredients on labels are listed in the order of what the item contains, ranging from the most to the least, Richart said.

Organic foods are regulated by the USDA. Items labeled as organic must demonstrate that producers are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity and using only approved substances, according to the USDA.

Details for this story were provided by The Herald Bulletin.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 11, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • A man with amnesia taught us how memories become personal

    Although not as celebrated as the late American amnesiac H.M., for my money K.C. taught us more important and poignant things about how memory works. He showed how we make memories personal and personally meaningful. He also had a heck of a life story.

    April 7, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks