Eating well and healthy

Metabolic weight replaces overweight or obesity for a change in daily habits. The account of food is not required and thus the difference with other diets. The important goal for this diet is to prevent the patient from being concerned about rapidly losing weight by not eating, which in turn will certainly recover weight in no time.

Another core idea of the Metabolic Slimming Program is to create a balance to reduce body fat, establishing a proportion upon which the contribution of calories does not exceed the expenditure thereof, i.e., regulate energy metabolism.

Nowadays, it is increasingly common to find food of poor nutritional quality (junk food), lacking in vitamins, fibers, proteins, etc., and high caloric content (empty energy).

How to read the Nutrition Facts Label?

The Nutrition Facts label is a valuable and simple tool designed and introduced in the market for more than 20 years by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA for its acronym in English), which guides consumers to obtain nutrition information (calories, fat, sugars and other nutrients) contained in sold packaged foods, so they can make an informed decisions about the foods they eat and offer to their families intended to maintaining healthy eating practices.

Recently, the FDA carried out a new update of legislation regarding nutrition fact labels, making improvements to this valuable resource that serves as a guide for consumers to be well informed and able to make sound decisions and maintain or improve their long-term health.

Now, how to use this valuable tool? Learning how to understand and interpret the information contained in nutrition fact labels is essential to make good decisions about what you will consume. Follow the instructions hereunder provided by the FDA:

1. – Size of the Portion

This section shows you how many servings are in the package and what size each serving is. Portion sizes refer to household utensils such as “cups” or “spoons” and also in units of more exact measurements such as “grams” when the product is solid, and in “milliliters” when the product is liquid. The number of portions contained in the complete package is also indicated. Take into account that all the nutritional information on the label is based on a portion of the food. Often a package of food contains more than one serving. For example if you eat two servings of food, you will be eating twice the calories and getting twice the amount of nutrients, both good and bad; that’s why it’s important that you read the label correctly and be aware of the serving size.

This is one of the sections that were recently improved in the new labeling design; now the portion size is highlighted with a larger font. According to the new legislation on labeling and nutrition education, the size of the portions required is based on what people actually consume, that is why the volume of the portions will now more accurately reflect the quantities of food people consumed and commonly eat.

2.- Number of Calories

The calories indicated in this section are equivalent to a portion of food. The “calories of fat” indicate how many calories of fat are in a serving. Remember, a product that does not contain fat does not necessarily mean that it does not have calories.

Now, in this section the FDA made some modifications in its legislation, one of which is that calories are displayed in a highlighted manner with a larger typeface; and the other change is that the “Calories of Fat” are removed from the label because research indicates that the type of fat is more important than the amount thereof. The “Total Fat,” the “Saturated Fat” and the “Trans-Fats” will mandatorily remain.

Another new change in this new nutrition label designed according to the new legislation of this official body, is that now “parallel columns” appear on the label to indicate the caloric and nutritional information “per portion” and “per package” of certain products with more than one food portion to be consumed on one or several servings. With the availability of labels with parallel columns, people will be able to easily know how many calories and nutrients they will be eating, whether they eat or drink the whole package at one time. For one-to-two-serving containers, such as a 20-ounce soft drink (591 ml), a list of the calories and other nutrients on the label will be mandatory as a single serving, since people usually consume them at once.

3. – Daily Value Percentage (% DV)

This section shows the amount of nutrients the portion contains and the amount we must consume per day. You can use it to choose those good foods that are high in nutrients to be eaten more often, such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, and those foods that are bad for your health and that must be eaten less frequently, such as saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol. Daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. However, your nutritional needs will probably depend on your age, sex and physical activity. It is best to consult with a health professional so that you can provide accurate information on the level of calories that would benefit you most in your nutritional plan.

According to the new nutrition labeling design, the following was also added in this section:

A statement on the grams and the daily nutritional value percentage (%DV) of the “added sugars” will appear, so that consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product. It is difficult to meet nutritional needs and stay within the caloric limits if more than 10 percent of the total daily calories consumed come from added refined sugars, and this concurs with the scientific evidence on which the 2015-2020 Food Guide for Americans is based.

‘‘Daily nutrient values such as sodium, fiber and vitamin D were updated in line with the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the Food Guide for Americans 2015-2020. The daily values are the reference quantities for the nutrients that must be consumed or not exceeded, and are used to calculate the % DV the manufacturers include in the label’’.

‘‘A statement was added about vitamin D and potassium that will include the actual amount in grams, in addition to % DV. These are nutrients some people do not ingest in sufficient quantities, which increases the risk of suffering from chronic diseases, such as Osteoporosis, immunological deficiencies, Celiac disease, obesity etc. The % DV of calcium and iron will remain mandatory, along with the actual amount in grams. Vitamins A and C will no longer be mandatory because their deficiency is rare, but these nutrients can be included voluntarily’’.

“A new footnote to the abbreviated label is included to better explain the % DV”.

4. – These foods must be restricted:

Eating too much fat (especially saturated fat and trans-fat), cholesterol or sodium can increase your risk to certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure. Try to keep these nutrients at the lowest possible level every day.

5. – Eat a lot from these nutrients:

Americans often do not eat enough fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients are essential to keep you feeling strong and healthy. Eating enough of these foods can improve your health and help reduce your risk of certain diseases.

"The important thing is not only how many kilos/pounds are lost or how long it takes, but how they are lost"