Calorie is not mere a number of energy we consume but more than that. It provides an idea on what food should we consume and what not. At the same time, which element of food supplies what number of calories is also an essential concept for maintaining good health. All these necessity forces to understand calorie content from food labels.
Meaning of Calorie on Food Label
In food package, the nutrients are given in terms of calorie but it means that everything is based on kilocalories. If we define calorie it means the energy we require to increase temperature of one degree Celsius of one kilogram of water. In some foods packets energy is measured In terms of kilojoules.
Amount of calories is determined by per serving size. In the food container, there is a section of calorie per serving which informs how much calorie you are going to have after consuming. Not only this information but also it provides which ingredients contains how much calories. For example, a food packet contains saturated fat and trans. fat. From this list, you can know how much calorie this fat produce. Even it informs what percentage of calories you get from these elements.
Some serving size is 1 slice and some 2 slices. Some serving is ½ cup and some is one cup. Another important thing is you can come to know which food source provides more calories. For example among various fat provides more calories than other type of food.
Our body needs some nutrients very much in regular basis. So you have to ensure that you are getting enough calories from that food source. Vitamins and minerals are very essential for much biological process, which you need on everyday basis. but on other side you have limit calorie intake from fat. Percentage of fat in the total food provides a general idea on how it will affect your overall health. If you consume too many calorie from fat then there is a chance of being overweight.
Comparing Two Packets of Food
If you want to compare two food items in terms of their nutritional value, the foods list also serve this purpose. Suppose there are two pack of milk. One is reduced fat milk and the other is nonfat milk. But both of them have same serving size, but different amount of calories, fat same level of calcium. So which one you would take? It depends on your own requirements of calorie and other nutrition.
Recommended Level of Nutrients
Sodium intake should be taken carefully as there are some health risk related with these nutrients. It is promotes hypertension so you need to check whether you are taking enough calories from sodium. Along with this calorie, consumption from carbohydrate is also harmful if the source is refined or processed. In food labels recommended level of sugar consumption per day is given. Al this information improves your knowledge on how much you can consume.
However, here I have tried to describe some general ideas of calorie contents of food labels. But you may come across some specific terms and words which is not familiar. In that can seek expert help opinion or online help.