Do You Need a College Degree to Read a Food Label?
As I continue working with women who are obese who have mobility limitations, new issues and barriers become evident on an almost daily basis. We discuss weight loss, along with food purchase education and making healthy choices based on reading food labels, which can be challenging for some. For example, we practice how to read food labels, and calculate the amounts of fat, sodium, and fiber, depending on their individual needs.
I realize that if I did not have four years of nutrition classes as an undergraduate, as well as another 2 years of dietetics, I, too, would be lost.
The confusion begins with serving size and determining how much is needed to reach a desired fiber intake. (Dietary fiber intake for persons with or without disabilities, according to the American Dietetics Association, should range from 25 to 35 grams per day, but there are instances where additional fiber may be needed.) A slice of bread can range from 36 to 43 grams, and the amount of fiber from 2 to 5 grams per slice/serving. This can become difficult to calculate, but one may actually need to ingest more servings of bread for some brands than others to ingest equivalent amounts of fiber. Therefore, one can eat less, but still meet his or her suggested fiber intake for good health.
Ultimately, for weight loss to occur, one should consume less than he or she expends. A simple math equation can help:
Caloric Expenditure - Caloric Intake = should equal a positive number
Suggested high-fiber breads and cereals:
Thomas Light MultiGrain English Muffin: 8 grams of fiber per 57 grams of food (whole muffin)
Natural Ovens 100% Whole Grain Bread: 4 grams of fiber per 36 grams of food (1 slice)
Jewel Bran Flakes: 5 grams of fiber per 3/4 cup of cereal
Grape Nuts: 6 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup of cereal
All-Bran: 10 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup of cereal
Please send your comments and feedback to Valerie Lawson at email@example.com.