The Importance of Diabetics Checking Processed Food Packaging Labels
For people with diabetes (diabetes), it is important to pay attention to sugar and carbohydrate intake so that the body’s health is maintained. For that, make sure to check every processed food packaging label that you want to consume. Why is this something important? Check out the full review below.
Diabetics Must Pay Attention to the Nutritional Value of Processed Foods
In addition to fresh food that must be considered, packaged food also needs to be considered for its content.
What information is important for diabetics who want to eat processed foods to pay attention to? Here’s the explanation:
1. Pay attention to the Ingredients List
When looking at labels on food, it’s best to pay attention to the following list of ingredients:
- Pay attention to heart-healthy ingredients, such as wheat, soy, and oat flours. Monounsaturated fats (such as olive, canola, or nut, and seed oils; also promote heart health).
- Avoid unhealthy ingredientssuch as high amounts of salt and sugar, saturated fats, or hydrogenated oils.
It’s important to remember that the nutritional value information is listed in chronological order by weight. The main (heaviest) ingredients are listed first, followed by the other ingredients used in lesser amounts.
2. Number of Carbohydrates
Paying attention to the number of grams of carbohydrates is very important because it affects the intake of sugar in the body. The total carbohydrate content for diabetics should be less than 15 grams in one serving.
To find out how many grams of carbohydrates the body needs, it must be calculated according to the patient’s health conditions such as gender, age, physical condition of the body, and physical activity of the body. For that, prioritize choosing complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat.
3. Fiber content
Pay attention to the fiber content in processed food products. The high fiber content will support the absorption of simple carbohydrates. Foods with more than 3 grams of fiber can be an option.
The energy and nutritional needs of diabetics must be calculated precisely, therefore before deciding to eat fresh or packaged food, it is important for sufferers to consult with a doctor regarding the exact amount of nutritional needs.
Also Read: 10 Safe Sugar Substitute Sweeteners for Diabetics
4. Sugar content
When choosing between products with or without sugar, compare food labels. If a sugar-free product has fewer carbohydrates, a sugar-free product may be a better choice. Also check other ingredients and calories.
Food products without added sugar are not necessarily without carbohydrates. So even though a product is not high in sugar, it may still be high in carbohydrates.
5. Fat Content
If you are losing weight, consuming fat-free foods may be the solution. But don’t be fooled by “fat-free” food labels.
Fat-free foods can have more carbohydrates and contain the same number of calories as other food products.
Therefore, compare food packaging labels carefully before buying them. Also remember that the total amount of fat listed on the label does not tell the whole story. So, it’s best to look for details on the type of fat.
In addition, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better choices because they help lower cholesterol and are good for heart health.
Also Read: Eating Fried Food Can Cause Diabetes, Here’s the Explanation
6. Number of Servings per Package
One food package (a pack, can, or box) generally has more than one serving. The number of servings per package shows the number of servings contained in one package.
For example, a product has the description ‘4 servings per package’, this means that each one package can be divided into 4 servings or consumed 4 times with each consumption frequency consuming one serving.
Please note, any nutritional value information informs the nutritional content for one serving, not one package. So, if you eat one whole pack, you are getting 4 times the nutritional intake of the value stated on the label.
- Anonymous. 2021. Reading food labels: Tips if you have diabetes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/food-labels/art-20047648. (Accessed January 26, 2023)
- Anonymous. 2021. Reading Food Labels When You Have Diabetes. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/how-read-food-labels. (Accessed January 26, 2023)
- Anonymous. Understanding Food Labels. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/food-shopping-for-diabetes/understanding-food-labels. (Accessed January 26, 2023)
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