Nutrition and Labeling - How can I tell?




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starfishkitty
09-18-2009, 02:12 PM
So I'm trying to teach myself how to eat properly... but the more I do... the more I realize I'm not quite sure how much is low, medium, or high on the scales.... like, at what point is it high sodium? How much fat is high fat? How much sugar is too much sugar?? :?:

Anyone have any tips or links to sites that could tell me that kind of stuff? And how to read it off labels? I've figured out protein and carbs, so that's okay... but those others have me stumped!


JulieJ08
09-18-2009, 02:23 PM
IMHO, every single one of those questions is a different number for different people.

Some people need 0 sugar, others may be good with the AHA recommendation of up to 6 tsp (2 tbsp) a day. To me, that sounds like a ton on non-dessert days. But they say the average US intake is 22 tsp/day!

Some people limit their sodium, other people have no BP problems and pay no attention to it. The AHA has recommended 1500 mg/day, and also an intermediate goal of 2300 mg/day.

A lot of people on these forums eat about 10% fat, some 20%, some around 30%, and some do fine at 30-40% (or more maybe with some lo-carb diets). The official recommendation is 30% or less. Some traditional Mediterranean diets have been 30-40%. Some people have skin & hair issues (and a variety of other issues too) with lower fat intake, some don't, and these happen at different levels for different people. It seems like the quality of the fat makes a difference (20% fat with high omega-3's may keep your hair healthy, but 30% fat with all junk may not).

starfishkitty
09-18-2009, 02:39 PM
What is the AHA?

I'm looking for somewhere that can actually give some me KIND of guidelines to go by.... I'm personally trying to stay on the lower carb side, but not unhealthily..... just balanced I guess. :) (I was always a carb addict!)


stargzr
09-18-2009, 02:55 PM
AHA = American Heart Association

I agree that a roundabout number is a good idea to find. It's easier most of the time when you know what you "should" be aiming for. Best of luck!

JulieJ08
09-18-2009, 03:12 PM
Some government or major organizations:

USDA (http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=4&tax_level=3&tax_subject=256&topic_id=1342&level3_id=5140)

AHA (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200010)

MyPyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov/)

lennyjo
09-23-2009, 03:53 PM
So I'm trying to teach myself how to eat properly... but the more I do... the more I realize I'm not quite sure how much is low, medium, or high on the scales.... like, at what point is it high sodium? How much fat is high fat? How much sugar is too much sugar?? :?:

Dear starfishkitty,

It is actually simpler than it seems to be.

1. You need approx. 800mg of sodium per day and you can easily receive this amount with an adequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Did you know that celery is actually a “salty” food?

The great thing about the sodium found in fruit and vegetables is that it is properly balanced out with potassium in a 1:5 sodium to potassium ratio - the ratio our body needs. These two minerals work synergistically with each other in what is called the sodium/potassium pump. When sodium is consumed without the requisite 5 times the amount of potassium, this causes stress to the body. When a grain of salt enters the body, it will try to protect its tissues and surrounding cells by using water as a protective barrier. Without potassium, salt becomes a toxin.

If you need to check for sodium content, it means you're looking at a processed food, and this is a big no-no. By eating processed food we consume 8-10 times more sodium than we actually need. Meat and vegetables don't contain any significant amount of sodium and you can prepare them in any way you wish, totally controlling the amount of salt used.

2. Not all fats are equal. You can consume coconut oil, olive oil and butter in frightening amounts :D and still be healthy and slim. Try that with canola oil, margarine or any other popular fat that stays liquid in a fridge, and you are cooked.

3. And sugar is not only completely unnecessary, but outright dangerous. High sugar foods are really only appropriate for people who are exercising several hours a day (and who have the metabolism to burn off these sugars). If you're not a professional runner, and you just eating your dessert, while sitting at the table, your blood sugar will soon convert to glycogen, to store energy for use at the later time.
This process, however, cannot go indefinitely, as there is a limited amount of sugar your liver can convert. Once your glycogen reaches its peak in your system, the liver starts converting blood sugar into fatty acids...:(

Most people never get to a low level of glycogen because they're not on a carbohydrate-controlled diet. Accordingly, the vast majority of people, when they consume refined carbohydrates, are going to be in a physiological state where circulating blood sugar gets quickly converted into stored body fat.

So, by consuming any amount of sugar you're promoting the creation of your own body fat.

This is one of the reasons all high-sugar foods and drinks should be avoided.

Hope it helps

HannahBoo23
12-04-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the information...It will be very helpful! :)