Nutritional tables: what they are, how to interpret them

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Robert Maurer
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Nutritional tables: what they are and how to read them 

The nutritional tables contain information on the energy value of a food and its nutritional principles: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, but also dietary fiber, sodium, mineral salts and vitamins. They can be more or less detailed, at the discretion of the producer and also of the type of food; however there is a legislative decree regulating food labeling and establishes for which products the nutritional tables are optional, for which, instead, they are mandatory. 



 

The energy value is expressed through two units of measurement of energy: kcal (chilocalorie) e kJ (chilo Joule) and usually refers to an amount equal to 100 grams for solid foods and 100 milliliters for liquids. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sodium and fiber are expressed in grams and usually refer to a quantity equal to 100 grams; the quantities of these nutrients can also refer to the portion; in any case the quantity to be taken into consideration is shown on the same nutritional tables. Vitamins and mineral salts are expressed in micrograms or milligrams, both as absolute quantities and in relation to Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). 

The values ​​shown on the nutritional tables should be considered as average values and derive from laboratory analysis carried out by the manufacturer or even by calculating the average of the values ​​of the ingredients contained in the product recipe. 


Nutritional tables: let's not ignore them 

How often do we buy packaged food without reading the label? It is a wrong habit because we take a product home with us without knowing its ingredients, energy and nutrient content. The nutritional tables should always be read as they provide us with very important information on the foods we buy. Even the presence or absence of nutritional tables, where it is not mandatory, gives us important information; if there is and it is detailed, one can deduce the will of a certain one transparency from the manufacturer. 



Rewarding companies that enter nutritional tables, especially when we buy more "critical" foods, for example sweets, French fries, various snacks ... We will make a more informed shopping and, perhaps, encourage more companies to insert detailed nutritional tables on the packaging of food products .


 | Urban Woodswalker

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