NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/29/13 -- Douglas Zimmerman, a wellness coach and nutrition expert, is offering his thoughts on a new article that provides guidance when it comes to interpreting nutrition facts in everyday foods. Nutrition labels and food packaging are full of terminology, some familiar and some not, and in order to make healthful choices, a consumer must know how to decode this language.
Trans fat (or lack thereof) is a common fact listed on boxes and bags of food. Many products claim to have "0 grams of trans fat," which may make a purchaser more tempted to buy this particular item. However, a buyer should understand that this label does not necessarily guarantee that the food is free of this artery-clogging substance. This is because the FDA's food labeling regulations enable products that have fewer than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving to state that they contain 0 grams of trans fat on their labels. This is dangerous, because even small amounts of bad fat can add up after several servings of the food that contains it.
Many health-conscious consumers also gravitate toward items labeled "multigrain." Though incorporating more whole grains is an important part of a nutritious diet, foods that claim to be "multigrain" may actually have been produced using several types of grain. It does not necessarily indicate that the product is free of refined grains like white flour. In order to choose correctly when it comes to these items, a consumer should aim to see two to three grams of fiber per serving listed on the nutrition panel. This generally indicates that the food is made using whole grains. A quick scan of the ingredient list also proves helpful, because it can display key ingredients like whole wheat, oats, or quinoa.
Douglas Zimmerman comments on the need for nutrition education, stating, "Unfortunately, many consumers are fooled by the packaging that greets them in the grocery store. A person cannot rely solely on the labels that adorn packages. In order to make healthy choices, there needs to be understanding about how these foods are actually made, and not just how they are advertised."
When it comes to consuming "all natural" foods, many shoppers quickly buy these products, thinking that the words "all natural" actually mean organic. An individual who is hoping to consume organic foods should instead choose items featuring the USDA's certified organic seal. This indicates that the ingredients contained in the item are 95 percent or more organic. The wording "made with organic ingredients" is not sufficient, since even unhealthy items like gummy bears can fit into this category.
Douglas Zimmerman states, "I encourage all individuals to take time to fully understand the information that is presented on a nutrition label. These facts are highly useful, but can also be confusing without proper education." Douglas Zimmerman advises consumers who are feeling uncertain about interpreting what they see on a label to seek professional guidance.
Douglas Zimmerman is a personal trainer and wellness coach who places an emphasis on wellness through proper nutrition and exercise. He offers cardio and resistance training, behavior modification, and life coaching. Zimmerman is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and has published an e-book called Grow Young with Food. He creates completely personalized workouts for his diverse client base.
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