If you have been following along my Insta Stories for the past month then you know that we have been making the effort to meal prep a few times a week and eat a lot "cleaner" than we have been. We started to notice that we were reaching for the take out menus more times a week than cooking ourselves and we realized we needed to make a conscious effort to change that. Certainly anytime you decide on making a change, all of a sudden the task becomes even more daunting... or at least for me it does.
I've partnered up with the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign (NFEC) to help you decode those Nutrition Facts table (NFt) and make informed and healthier decisions when purchasing groceries for your family. Lets be "Nutrition Fact Finders" together so we can feel good about the decisions that we make for our families.
The first step is to not let the numbers and percentages intimidate you. All NFt are laid out in a similar way and you just start by looking to see what serving size all of those numbers are in reference to, especially if you are comparing two similar products together. If the serving sizes are drastically different from one product to another than the numbers and percentages may not actually be reflective of their true value. The second step is to use the % Daily Value (%DV) to determine how nutrient rich (or not so rich) the serving size is for that particular item. Typically if a nutrient is listed with a value of less than 5% it would be considered a little and a value of 15% or more would be considered a lot. Of course this means that it only makes sense to choose packages that deliver a nutrient rich punch per serving. So lets try our hand at these two boxes of Cereal (A & B) to see if we can decide on the more nutritious option.
First, lets check out the serving sizes that the values are referring to for both: Cereal A is half a cup (28g) and Cereal B is three quarters of a cup (30g). They are comparable in grams but Cereal B is a quarter of a cup more than Cereal A. The % DV are all quite similar as well so I would choose Cereal B because it offers a larger volume serving that would be more filling for me.
The serving size for Canned Peaches A is half a cup (120mL) and for Canned Peaches B is two thirds of a cup (160mL). Can B is almost double the calorie count as Can A and the %DV is actually quite similar until you reach the Vitamin/Minerals section . Here you can see that Canned Peaches B has a significantly higher Vitamin C content than Canned Peaches A, so it is the winner here!
Lastly, lets see what we think of these Veggie Burgers (A &B). Both burgers have the same serving size of 1 burger (130g) so that eliminates us having to compare that point. The %DV however seem to be quite different and will require a little more consideration on our part. Veggie Burger A is less calories per serving (200) versus Burger B which has 350 calories per serving. Burger A is two thirds less fatty but almost double the sodium content than Burger B. Although both have their pros and cons, I'm going to choose Veggie Burger A for the win, because I would be more concerned with the amount of fat that is in a product. Although Veggie Burger A does have more sodium than Burger B, we can subtract sodium sources from other sources in our meal or overall daily intake...which is less challenging then trying to drain the fat out of anything.
Now onto a fun giveaway for a chance to win a $300 Grocery Card! It is as simple as clicking on the link to Focus on the Facts and fill out the form to enter. There is also a quiz (not mandatory) you can do as well to test your "Nutrition Face Finders" skills along with links to some great interactive online tools that can help you #FocusontheFacts like professionals.
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