When it comes the labels on the food we are eating, most of us look for only
one reason: to find out the facts about what we are taking into our bodies.
By law in Canada, every food product sold must contain several bits of information
detailing what the product contains. This is convenient for health conscious
Canadian families, as it means that you don't have to run out and employ
the services of a Toronto search firm in order to find out what is in your supper.
Unfortunately, most food product labels do require a bit of decoding in order
to be read properly for nutrition's sake. Food production companies are
well aware of the fact that certain ingredients may turn consumers off of their
products. For this reason, you won't find the labels as easy to read as
those on, say, ladies' sweaters. There are no descriptive details, just
stark information about the ingredients in the can.
For this reason, it is important not just to read the labels on the food you
consume, but to understand what the information is telling you as well. Let's
see what you can glean from labels when it comes to nutrition.
Right at the top of every label, you will see a wide section reading nutrition
facts. This is where the percentages and numbers important to most Canadians
are contained. This section tells you how much of each vitamin or mineral is
contained in the product. Usually this information is given in terms of a percentage,
and indicates how much of the recommended daily amount of the substance is found
in a certain measurement. It will also include the amount of calories contained
in that measurement.
The tricky thing with the facts part of most labels is the way in which that
amount is portrayed. It would seem reasonable to assume that the measurement
size on the label would be the same as the amount of product, but this is often
not the case. For example, a 1 litre bottle of Coca Cola has its nutrition facts
section listed at 355 mL, or one can. To get the actual amount represented by
drinking the entire bottle, you have to multiply all the numbers by approximately
three. Many companies use this "trick" to make products seem less
disastrous to your health than they really are.
The ingredients will also give you some good clues as to the nutrition facts
in that food product. Here, Canadian law requires that all items included in
the product be listed. It's great for those concerned about their fitness,
Toronto residents and all other Canadians included, because it allows for no
secret damaging ingredients.
Again, we will take a can of Coke. A scan of the ingredients would seem to
indicate that Coke isn't all that bad, but a closer look reveals something
a little bit sinister. It seems as though one of the main ingredients in many
people's favourite beverage is phosphoric acid, also famous for rotting
away the skin of bad guys in James Bond-style booby traps.
When it comes to nutrition facts, labels will only usually help with the actual
contents of the can. They won't tell you if the product was made in a
plant next to an area requiring water treatment chemicals, or a lot of other
useful information. Still, understanding the meaning behind the facts on labels
can help point you in the right direction when it comes to planning your dietary