Reading nutrition labels is an important skill for people with diabetes, as it can help them make informed choices about the foods they eat. In India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has established guidelines for food labelling, which includes a standard format for nutrition labelling. In this article, we will explore the information provided on nutrition labels in India and how people with diabetes can use this information to make better food choices.
The nutrition label on a food product provides information about the amount of certain nutrients in the product. The nutrients that are typically included on nutrition labels are calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fibre, sugars, and protein.
Check out Total Calories
The number of calories in a food product is important for people with diabetes, as it can help them to manage their weight and blood sugar levels. It's important to note that the number of calories per serving is provided on the label, so it's important to pay attention to serving size.
Therefore, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's important to make wise food choices and choose low-calorie meals and snacks that are also nutrient-dense and healthy. If you're looking for healthy and tasty snacks that are low in calories, you might want to try Keeros Supersnacks which are a great option for quick and easy healthy & yummy snacks on the go.
The total fat content of a food product is also important for people with diabetes. Foods that are high in fat can lead to weight gain and can also increase the risk of heart disease. It's important to pay attention to the types of fats included in the product, as some types of fats (such as saturated and trans fats) are worse for health than others (such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats).
Avoid Foods with Trans Fats
Saturated fat and trans fat are types of fats that can increase the risk of heart disease. The FSSAI recommends that people with diabetes should limit their intake of these fats.
Look for the Total Carbohydrate Content
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in animal-based foods. It can contribute to the development of heart disease, so people with diabetes should be mindful of their cholesterol intake.
Watch out for Sodium Content
Sodium is a type of salt that is used to preserve and flavour foods. High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. People with diabetes should be mindful of their sodium intake and look for foods that are low in sodium.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body. However, people with diabetes need to be mindful of their carbohydrate intake, as high levels of carbohydrates can lead to high blood sugar levels. The FSSAI recommends that people with diabetes should aim to eat more complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit their intake of simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and refined grains.
To make healthier snack choices, people with diabetes can choose snacks that are made with whole grains, which are a good source of complex carbohydrates. One such option is Keeros Supersnacks, which are made from whole grains and other nutrient-dense ingredients. These snacks are not only delicious but can also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Look for High-Fibre Foods
Fibre is an important nutrient for people with diabetes, as it can help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness. The FSSAI recommends that people with diabetes should aim to eat at least 25 grams of fibre per day.
Do Check Presence of Added Sugar
Sugars are a type of carbohydrate that can lead to high blood sugar levels. The FSSAI recommends that people with diabetes should limit their intake of added sugars, such as those found in sweetened beverages, desserts, and candy.In order to reduce the intake of added sugars, people with diabetes can opt for 100% natural sugar substitutes like Keeros Stevia Drops which is a zero-calorie sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. Using such natural substitutes can help manage blood sugar levels while also satisfying sweet cravings.
Protein is an important nutrient for building and repairing body tissues. It can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness. The FSSAI recommends that people with diabetes should aim to eat at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
It's important to note that nutrition labels in India also include information about vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are important for overall health, and people with diabetes should aim to get enough of them through a balanced diet.For people with diabetes who are looking for high-protein snacks, Keeros Quinoa Grain or Keeros Multigrain can be a good option. These snacks are made with nutrient-dense ingredients and are a great source of protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients.
List of Ingredients
The label must include a list of ingredients used in the product in descending order by weight.
Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian Logo
The label must indicate whether the product is vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
Best Before or Use By Date
The label must indicate the best before or use by date.
The label must indicate the net quantity of the product in grams or millilitres.
Name and Address of Manufacturer or Packer or Importer
The label must include the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or importer.
Q. Why is it important for people with diabetes to read nutrition labels?
A. Reading nutrition labels can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications.
Q. What should people with diabetes look for on nutrition labels?
A. People with diabetes should pay attention to the serving size, total carbohydrate content, glycemic index, trans fats, sodium content, and fibre content.
Q. What is the glycemic index?
A. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a particular food raises blood sugar levels.
Q. How can people with diabetes avoid foods with trans fats?
A. People with diabetes should avoid foods that contain trans fats and look for healthier options, such as foods that are high in unsaturated fats.
Q. What are some high-fibre foods that people with diabetes can include in their diet?
A. People with diabetes can include foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in their diet to increase their fibre intake.
In addition to the information provided on the nutrition label, it's also important to pay attention to the ingredients list. The ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so if sugar or any other added sweeteners are one of the first ingredients listed, it's likely that the product contains a lot of added sugar. It's also important to watch out for other ingredients such as partially hydrogenated oils, which indicate the presence of trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup, which is a type of added sugar.
Another thing to keep in mind when reading nutrition labels is the serving size. The nutrient information provided on the label is based on a specific serving size, so it's important to pay attention to the serving size and adjust the nutrient information accordingly. It's also important to be aware of the number of servings per container, as this can also affect the nutrient information.
In conclusion, reading nutrition labels is an important skill for people with diabetes in India. By paying attention to the information provided on nutrition labels, such as calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fibre, sugars, and protein, people with diabetes can make informed choices about the foods they eat. It's also important to pay attention to the ingredients list and serving size, and to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on how to manage diabetes through diet. With a little knowledge and practice, people with diabetes can make healthier food choices and better manage their diabetes.
Author- Simran Sahni