YOU DON’T READ THE LA­BELS…

Runner's World (UK) - - Weight Loss -

Stud­ies have shown that peo­ple who read food la­bels are more likely to lose weight. When left to our own de­vices, we vastly un­der­es­ti­mate calo­rie counts. But de­ci­pher­ing those la­bels isn’t al­ways easy. Use this guide to what you should look for to help you slim down (and speed up).

01 / SERV­ING SIZE Many serv­ing sizes are much smaller than those peo­ple are ac­cus­tomed to eat­ing.

02 / NUM­BER OF SERV­INGS Some foods that look like a sin­gle serv­ing are ac­tu­ally two, or more.

03 / CALO­RIES PER SERV­ING As­sess this in terms of your daily tar­get (see no.3, p42).

04 / SAT­U­RATED FAT PER SERV­ING High lev­els raise heart dis­ease risk. The Depart­ment of Health rec­om­mends sat­u­rated fat should ac­count for no more than 11 per cent of your en­ergy in­take.

05 / TRANS FATS PER SERV­ING: Found in pro­cessed foods and usu­ally listed as hy­dro­genated or par­tially hy­dro­genated veg­etable oil, trans fats have vir­tu­ally no nu­tri­tional value.

06 / SUGAR PER SERV­ING: For re­fined sugar aim as low as pos­si­ble, though if you’re eat­ing raw fruit or dairy prod­ucts, don’t stress about the sug­ars.

07 / PRO­TEIN PER SERV­ING Aim high, while main­tain­ing your calo­rie tar­get. Pro­tein keeps you full, and re­pairs and re­builds mus­cle. Spread in­take through the day and be­ware ‘high-pro­tein’ foods: some bars have a meal’s worth of pro­tein, but also a meal’s worth of calo­ries.

08 / FI­BRE PER SERV­ING Like pro­tein, fi­bre makes you feel full. It also keeps your GI tract healthy. It can re­duce choles­terol lev­els, so it pro­motes heart health.

09 / VI­TA­MINS AND MIN­ER­ALS The best foods are nu­tri­ent dense, which means that in ad­di­tion to a good blend of carbs, fats, and pro­tein, they con­tain key vi­ta­mins and min­er­als such as cal­cium, vi­ta­min C and iron. Look at the ‘rec­om­mended daily al­lowance’ col­umn to judge lev­els.

10 / IN­GRE­DI­ENTS LIST Re­mem­ber, food in­gre­di­ents are listed in de­scend­ing or­der of weight. So if sugar is first…

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