We have all seen the back of food packages. That is where the nutrition facts of foods are displayed. Though this helps consumers know what nutrients their food contains and how much, it can be confusing to look at all the percentages, fat grams and calories.
If you are trying to lose weight and you want to assess the fat content of foods, it is probably best to look at fat grams to know just how much fat is going into your diet.
According to health experts at the Institute of Medicine, healthy adults should get about 20-35 percent of their total calories from fat. A gram of fat has 9 calories. If you eat about 1,800 calories a day, you should eat no more than 70 grams of fat per day.
The MayoClinic gives this computation: 35 percent of 1,800 calories = 630 calories, divided by 9 (calories per gram of fat) = 70 grams.
Food labels also show calories and calories from fat per serving. For instance, if the food label indicates 250 calories and 110 fat calories, it means nearly half of the food’s calories come from fat.
This does not mean though, that you have to avoid such foods.
For instance, 55 percent of the calories in part-skim mozzarella cheese come from fat, but a 1-ounce serving (28.47 grams) has just 4 grams of fat and 72 total calories.
Percentages on the other hand indicate how much a specific nutrient a food contains compared with the Daily Value or DV. The DV is based on a 2,000-calorie diet. For instance, if the label lists 6 percent next to total fat, that means the food will provide for 6 percent of the suggested daily total for fat.
Now that you know what the food labels indicate, you can now make healthier food choices the next time you go to the grocery store.