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How to read a food nutrition label (correctly) – GQ India

Serving size

The label starts with the total number of servings per container, for this specific food. This is not a recommendation of how much of the food you should eat. Here, it’s 1 cup, and all the information listed on the label pertains to a 1 cup serving. If you’re eating double the serving size, remember to double the figures too. In India, food labels don’t always break down information based on serving size, but based on the quantity of the product (100g for a packet of chai, for example), which means you need to estimate what one serving of that food might be, and then calculate backwards.

Calories

This value refers to the amount of energy one serving of this food is giving you. A food can be classified as low-cal if it’s less than 40 calories/serving, and calorie-free if it contains less than 5 calories/serving.

Macro and micro nutrients

Calories are divided into macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Look out for the quantity in grams, as well the % daily value as well, which tells you how much this food contributes to your daily requirement of nutrients.

Fat

Broken down here into saturated fats (too much of these can adversely impact heart health); but also no trans fats (which is a good thing). Don’t panic everytime you see the word “fat”. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, and a necessary part of a balanced diet. Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your total fat requirement for the day, Note, this product gives you twice of that.

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