Many of the foodstuffs we purchase are subject to quality control and a summary of their contents is often printed on the label. How can the information provided in a list of ingredients be used by...

Many of the foodstuffs we purchase are subject to quality control and a summary of their contents is often printed on the label. How can the information provided in a list of ingredients be used by the consumer for their benefit?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The "nutrition facts" label that is posted on most manufactured foodstuffs offers a lot of information that is beneficial to the consumer.  The label tells what a "serving size" is considered to be of that particular food, and then tells you approximately how many servings the container has.  The label then proceeds to tell you how many calories are contained per serving, a crucial piece of information for individuals monitoring their daily caloric intake.  It goes on to inform how many of those calories are derived from fat, which has twice as many calories per gram as do protein and carbohydrate.  The label proceeds to give the breakdown, per serving size, of the following: saturated fat, trans fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, cholesterol, sodium (for folks like me, with high blood pressure), potassium, dietary fiber, sugars, and proteins.

So, depending upon one's health consciousness, an abundance of information is available from the nutrition label on most packaged foodstuffs.  Depending on the average consumer's health and dietary needs, one may examine the items that constitute their diet and make intelligent decisions on whether "to consume, or not to consume".

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