Tag Archives: vitamins

Are You Making These 7 Dieting Mistakes?

Health Update:
Are You Making These 7 Dieting Mistakes?

You’ve started a new diet. You’ve been good all week, making sensible meals, managing your portions, even exercising a little…then the weekend hits. You eat too much. You drink too much. You give up.

Not so fast! A couple of slipups won’t undo all your hard work. The key is to know the dieting pitfalls you¢re likely to make and plan ahead to avoid them.

Here are the top seven dieting mistakes. How many are you making?

  1. Skipping breakfast.Research shows that people who don’t eat breakfast actually weigh more than those who do. There’s a mistaken belief that if you skip breakfast, you’re saving calories. Problem is you end up snacking and eating more at other meals because you’re body is so starved for food. Always begin your day with a healthy breakfast. Black coffee, an egg, whole wheat toast and a half grapefruit has only 250 calories and will stave off hunger pangs till lunch.
  2. Too many liquid calories. Did you know that a regular soda can pack on 15 pounds in one year? Not to mention lattes, fruit smoothies and alcohol. These liquid calories do little to satisfy any hunger and the calories add up fast.
  3. Not exercising. If 30 minutes is too much to even think about, start with 10 and see how it goes. If exercising is a drag to you, try something fun like bowling, playing ping-pong, or dancing. The idea is to get moving and have so much fun you’ll stick with it.
  4. Using extreme diets. These don’t work and can be very detrimental to your health. When you deprive your body of food two things happen: your metabolic rate slows down to make up for few calories and your desire to binge increases. In addition extreme dieting may lead to the bloating of fat cells, shrinking of muscle cells, accumulation of toxic fats and fatigue. Rather than thinking “diet” think lifestyle change.
  5. Mindless munching. Even if it’s not on a plate, it still counts. A couple of cheesy crackers before dinner, test-tasting a sauce, finishing food from your kids¢ plates while washing dishes, all adds up to more calories. On average figure 25 calories per bite. Do that 4 times in a day and you’ve just added 100 extra calories to your waistline without even realizing it.
  6. Going overboard on low fat. It’s psychological. You pick a low-fat snack and you justify eating more of it because it IS low fat. Research backs this up. More food, even if it is non- or low-fat still means more calories.
  7. Not taking vitamins and supplements. In a perfect world, we’d get all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals from our three perfectly balanced daily meals. Truth is, few of us do. Even if you think you’re eating right, modern food processing can deplete whatever nutrients were in the food originally. That’s why many take daily vitamins and supplements. While it’s important for everyone, it’s especially important for those who are trying to lose or maintain weight. It starts with a good, high-quality multivitamin.

As quickly as the pounds add up, they can also come off. The key is knowing what your pitfalls are and how to avoid them.

For natural weight control remedies, visit Botanic Choice.

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CVS Unlimited, LLC is a paid affiliate of Botanic Choice.



FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Nutrition Vs. Diet: are You Getting the Nutrients Your Body Needs?

Author: Healing Headquarters LLC

Today we hear the word diet much more than we hear the word nutrition. There are so many diets on the market that it’s easy to get lost in the fad and forget what nutrition truly is. There is the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, Weight Watchers and many others, from Slim Fast to the various one-food diets, such as the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet. Society has become fixated on the ‘diet’, instead of quality nutrition. Unfortunately, this fixation isn’t working. America is the fattest nation in the world, with high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other life threatening illnesses. While diets are becoming more popular, nutrition is suffering.

What is a diet?

While many people think a diet is a set of rules you follow to try to lose weight, your diet is actually the food that you eat to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. While an average American diet consists of large quantities of processed sugar, white flour, meat and fast foods, a healthy diet is one that supplies the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and enzymes. These nutritional building blocks affect your energy levels, your quality of life, and have a direct affect on your mood, memory, eyesight, body functions and lifespan. Without a healthy diet that supplies the body with much needed nutrients, you are more susceptible to colds, infections, and illnesses. Your diet, in other words your nutrition, is what sustains your life.

Nutritional Labels reading_nutrition_label

There is much confusion surrounding nutritional labels. Most people look strictly toward the top for calories, fat grams and serving size information. The truth is that nutritional labels offer a look at the nutrients in one’s food, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and folic acid. This information, although lower down on the nutritional label, is very important information if you are seeking to supply your body with nutrients, as opposed to empty calories.

The most important aspect of a nutritional label, although almost completely overlooked, is the actual ingredients within your food. While it may be easier to check to see how many calories and fat grams a certain food product has in each serving, when it comes to healthy nutrition the most important ingredient is what you are actually ingesting. It may have only 220 calories, but where are those calories coming from? Are you ingesting mostly corn syrup and sodium phosphate, or high amounts of preservatives, such as sorbic acid and sulfur dioxide? The ingredients in your food are the tell-tale clues to how much nutrition you are actually taking in. If your food is strictly cheese and flour, as opposed to nutrient providing vegetables and vitamins, it doesn’t really matter if the calories are low.

A Nutritional Diet

Nutrition comes from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food sources that are rich with nutrients are whole, living foods that are supplied from the earth. Dark leafy greens offer more calcium than milk, while beans and grains offer high amounts of iron. It is easy to turn your focus from diet to nutrition. And when you do, you might find yourself eating a diet that is rich in nutrients and optimal for losing weight.

FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Proper Nutrition is the Key to Health & Vitality!

Author: Chuck Arnonevitamins2-210_2

We all need to start somewhere with vitamins as our soils that grow our foods have been depleted of their nutrients over a period of decades! Liquid vitamins are better for a few reasons. They are easier for the body to digest and absorb than hard pills.Liquid vitamins are formulated at or near the concentration of body fluids and by virtue of being liquid, are not as concentrated as pills and tablets therefore loading capacity is less likely to be exceeded.

These vitamins are better than pills because they have better absorption and faster assimilation rate than pills. It is a lot better for your digestive system and is the same vitamins that you find in any supermarket or health store, but are suspended in a liquid vitamin mixture. This new method of taking liquid nutritional supplements is becoming extraordinarily popular in today’s progressive healthcare marketplace. These vitamins are available in the form of multi-vitamins as well. The liquid multi-vitamins offer a whole host of health benefits, both at physiological and psychological levels.

Liquid vitamins are the wave of the future and liquids work 9 times faster than pills. They bypass the digestive tract and are absorbed into the bloodstream, not to mention what it would also do for our city sewers, since pills are not efficiently absorbed into your bloodstream. Minerals do not always readily absorb in the body because they attach to larger molecules. A liquid vitamin supplement that uses amino acids is the best to enable mineral molecules to absorb. The benefit can be derived from every essential ingredient.

When starting your regimen with a multi-vitamin, results are not instant and require time to clean out and bring your body back to a healthy state. The first days to weeks you start your program with liquid vitamins, your body will go through a cleansing. These products are so effective that they will get into your tissues and push out the toxins that are stored in the cells. Additionally, the AMA (American Medical Association) is now recommending that everyone take a multi-vitamin to supplement their diet.

Supplements will not compensate for fatty fried foods, high intake of carbohydrates and imbalanced nutrition. It can on the other hand, compliment your nutrition, reinforce your immune system and top off the missing nutrients in your diet. Multivitamins vary in quality and not everyone will be able to do the same regimen. Supplementing your body with colloidal minerals and vitamin nutrients can help create the optimal environment in the body for maximal life expectancy by replenishing nutritional deficiencies. There are some Eastern cultures that have people routinely living to ages in the range of 120 to 140 years old (ex: the Hunzas). Supplements must be taken on your off days from training just as well as when you are working out. It is on your off days that your body is recovering from strenuous workouts and needs the proper nutrition to support muscle growth.

Get started on a daily vitamin regimen with the health supplements of high quality. In fact, they help you with more than vitamins and minerals not in your diet. In one daily dose you will get nutritional items proven to improve your digestive system, bones and joints, your immune system, your energy level, your heart and blood circulation and your mood and memory and ability to combat stress! Studies have shown that vitamins, especially liquid vitamins can boost your health and vitality!

Antioxidant vitamins have been said to be extremely helpful in preventing the oxidation of LDL, and consequently the accumulation of fat clogged arteries. However recent research is indicating that there is no link between antioxidant vitamins and prevention of coronary disease. Antioxidants have just started becoming talked about and mainstream. Even a few years ago, not many people could tell you what they are or the foods you can get them from.

Let’s look at this in an easy to understand way of improving your health as quickly as possible without harming yourself! Today’s lifestyles are hurry up and rush around, not to mention the smog in our cities and day to day stress of life. All of us including our children need to be on a daily routine of vitamins. The difference in staying healthy and living a long productive life.

Arthritis, Nutrition and You!

Author: Chuck Arnonesalmon

Although progress in the field of arthritis and nutrition is slow, we fully expect to see further justification of these theories as medical science progresses.Here is a brief look at the ongoing research of arthritis and nutrition. There has been a lot of research that identifies the relationship between arthritis and nutrition.

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint or joints.  Arthritis is usually caused by what people eat and drink and is becoming very common in people of all ages which will probably affect 90% of people by the age of 60.  Arthritis is a poorly understood condition but some scientists believe that rheumatoid arthritis is the result of a micro-organism or other foreign substance in the body.  Arthritis is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases and becomes more prevalent as we age.  Arthritis is one of the most common chronic degenerative conditions today, affecting as many as 100 million people worldwide.  Can the foods you eat cause or affect your arthritis?  Diet is a major role player in the onset of arthritis.  There are some scientific reasons to think that the foods you eat could affect certain kinds of arthritis.

Evidence shows that excessive weight and the type of diet you follow may influence symptoms of certain types of arthritis and related conditions.  Research has shown several connections between food, nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids) and certain forms of arthritis or related conditions, such as gout, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, and reactive arthritis.  Healthcare professionals strongly recommend that people with arthritis follow a diet based on variety, balance and moderation.  The treatment for arthritis usually focuses on medications that reduce inflammation, which decreases pain and increases mobility.

Advancements have shown to be extremely effective in both preventing and managing many forms of arthritis by all natural nutritional supplements.  Nutrition and exercise are beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers in additional to medical therapy.  To give the body proper nutrition, a person has to eat and drink enough of the foods that contain key nutrients.  It is almost impossible to get a daily balanced diet so the logical answer is to allocate a portion of your food budget to include a nutritional supplement product that supplies the recommended daily minimums. It is best for overall health when that can be attained through improved nutrition instead of toxic drugs.  But then again, a lack of evidence doesn’t rule out the power of good nutrition–researchers could find no explicit link between red meat and RA either.  Emphasis on nutrition is a meaningful choice and can give you control over your arthritis.  While conventional medicine often helps to ease the symptoms, nutritional supplements can also have powerful effect in assisting keeping this debilitating condition in check.

It seems like we hear conflicting news about what we should and shouldn’t eat at every turn, but experts have pinpointed specific foods and supplements that can actually decrease the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis when combined with regular exercise.  Other supplements that have been in the news a lot lately – glucosamine and chondriton – help the body repair damaged tissue, slow down joint degeneration and improve joint function and mobility.  Give some of our suggestions a try: Exercise at least 3 times a week and watch your weight. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and adhere to a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet. Moderate your sugar intake, consider using sugar substitutes if you drink alcoholic beverages, drink in moderation and avoid tobacco use. Take recommended supplements with your doctor’s approval. Drink eight glasses of water per day and get 8 hours of sleep each night.In addition, changes to diet and the use of certain nutritional supplements may also help to relieve symptoms.  Liquid dietary supplements have several advantages over tablets and capsules. Liquid vitamins and mineral supplements have a greater absorption rate than any other form of supplementation.  The effective use of nutritional supplements and natural diet saves money, pain and lives.

The first step is to insure you get the basic nutrition through proper diet and exercise.  Just as it is for people without arthritis, maintaining a balance in the foods you choose is important. While exercise is important for overall health, for people with stiff joints and decreased mobility, it can really help offset the consequences of this condition.  Begin your exercise program and take it slow and easy.  Too much exercise, especially jogging, or anything that is hard on the joints, is not helpful and can cause traumatic arthritis.  However, some mild daily exercise such as walking is generally best and does not stress the joints as does any vigorous exercise.

Studies have shown a connection between foods, vitamin supplementation, and fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) can only help certain types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, walnuts, freshly ground flaxseed or a good omega-3 supplement may help reduce the inflammation and pain of arthritis.  Research also suggests that a diet rich in Omega 3 EPA may help reduce the pain of inflammation associated with some forms of joint pain.  For example, Omega-3 fatty acids from plant foods such as flaxseed and oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, olive and canola oils (just to name a few) is renown for preventing and even reversing osteoarthritis.

Exercise is needed and more of it working up to an hour a day. The benefits will far outweigh the consequences of being unfit, sick and  eating away at your savings from medical expenses!

The Key to Good Athlete Nutrition

Author: Faye Brown

If you are an athlete you know that good athlete nutrition is essential. It’s not something you can just brush aside, saying, “Today I’ll be healthy, tomorrow I’m going to throw it all to the wind.” Good nutrition is as vital to your athletic performance as practicing, and when you learn the secret to good nutrition you’ll be able to enjoy improvements in your athletic performance that you never thought were possible!

The key steps to athlete nutrition: soccer players_1

1) If you’re thirsty, it’s already too late. Dehydration is the number one nutritional killer of most athletes’ performance, because they don’t drink enough water through the day. Not drinking enough water will leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy, and when you’re an athlete involved in a sport where every second counts you know that a few minutes of feeling sluggish and sleepy can completely ruin your performance.

Although most doctors recommend you drink six to eight glasses of water a day, that amount actually varies from person to person. The best thing you can do is cut other drinks out of your diet and drink water all day long. Remember, if your body is so dehydrated that you feel thirsty, it’s already too late.

2) Take your vitamins. Vitamin and mineral supplements are a key element in athlete nutrition, since the constant demands placed on their body burn those vitamins up faster than the average individual. Talk with your coach and your physician to see what supplements are right for you.

3) Enjoy your carbs! Although the Atkins diet has instilled a deathly fear of carbs into a huge percentage of the population, the bottom line is that your body gets its energy from its carbohydrates. As an athlete, you need that energy to keep going; as an individual, you need those carbs to replace what you burn throughout the day.

4) Keep your meat lean. There’s nothing wrong with a nice, juicy steak every once in a while, but good athlete nutrition hinges on keeping the body at a cutting edge. Lean meats are much more effective for that purpose. Remember, however, that your body craves protein as well. As an athlete your daily protein requirements may be higher than many other individuals who live more sedentary lives.

5) Avoid sweets. Sweets and sugary drinks will dehydrate you and slow you down. That’s the last thing you need! If you can, cut these sweets out of your diet completely. If you can’t, indulge in moderation. Remember, there’s a vast difference between a small slice of cake at your cousin’s wedding reception and an entire apple pie devoured in front of “I Love Lucy” re-runs!

Good athlete nutrition is a vital part of staying on top of your game. Sit down with your coach and your physician as soon as possible to work out a detailed diet plan just for you to have you at your peak athletic performance. You’ll be surprised at the difference a little change can make!

Men’s Weight Loss Quiz

Author: Deidra Garciafruit_veggie_image

1. Beverages can cause you to gain weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men don’t realize that beverages are often loaded with empty calories. Even fortified waters can contain as many calories as a can of soda. In fact, a recent study found that most men don’t accommodate for these extra calories with their meals.  A better bet is to stick to drinking plenty of water, as it keeps your system well-hydrated, helps food break down easier and doesn’t pack on the pounds.

2. Fasting is a good way to drop a few pounds.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: By skipping meals and then playing catch-up, you could end up promoting more fat storage and lowering your metabolism due to fluctuating insulin and blood sugar levels.  You also lose more than fat when you don’t eat…you lose muscle and tissue mass. A better bet is to follow a moderate diet and continue to exercise regularly.

3. Eating more produce reduces the pounds.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: This seems like it should go without saying, but most men don’t get their allotted five servings a day. In addition to containing vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and protein, fruits and vegetables are a low-calorie option that can help you lose weight and improve health tremendously. A few ideas for consuming more are eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week, keeping fresh produce on hand for snacks (even canned vegetables and fruits are valuable as long as they don’t contain heavy syrup or preservatives), and adding more to salads, sandwiches and as side dishes..

4. Drinking a lot of water causes you to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Water is key to fending of dehydration and it helps the body processes. It even helps provide a “full” feeling. But drinking water does not burn off calories, and drinking an excessive amount of water can also add to temporary water weight and make you feel bloated.

5. You need to exercise as well as diet to lose weight.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Many men think if they eat right they can skip exercising altogether. Or vice versa. Wrong. If you are actively looking to lose weight, you are going to have to regularly exercise as well as follow a nutritious diet. Exercising 3-4 times a week not only improves cardiovascular and overall health, it also helps you burn calories as you build muscle.

6. You can keep your weight down by skipping meals.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although experts are divided on how many meals you should eat (3 moderate meals, or several small ones throughout the day), mealtimes need to be kept at the same time every day so your body knows when to feel hungry. Skipping meals can cause you to overeat at the next meal as your body tries to make up for the meal that was missed.

7. Diets that focus on adding or removing only one type of food are the most effective.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Many fad diets rely on eating a large quantity of or removing one substance or food from your diet (for example: low-carb diet, the cabbage diet, etc.). But the fact is that eating too much of one thing can cause you to miss out on valuable nutrients in other foods (how many fruits contain protein?). And your body needs many components to function well (carbs provide energy, etc.). Instead of drastically cutting or adding an ingredient, try reducing “bad” foods and eating moderate servings of more varied foods.

8. You can still snack and eat your favorite foods as you diet.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: The reason many men fail at weight management is because they try to deprive themselves of their favorite foods…which may not be the healthiest. Unfortunately, when deprived like this, many guys tend to overeat or binge at the slightest waver of willpower. There’s no need to give up desserts or less-than-healthy options…just eat them in small servings and restrict them to only once or twice a week. Even restaurant meals and fast food options can be conquered if you keep the portions small (take half home as leftovers) and you’re aware of what exactly you are consuming, nutrition-wise.

9. How you eat is just as important as what you eat.

•    True

•    False

TRUE: Ever wolf down a huge plate of food and then realize that you weren’t even that hungry to begin with? This happens more frequently than most men think. Men who overeat tend to eat very quickly. This does not allow your stomach time to process food and does not allow your brain time to realize you’ve had enough. A better option is to take your time as you eat: you’ll be able to recognize when you fill full (and then stop) and it will also help with digestion. Not to mention that you’ll be able to savor the flavors much better this way!

10. Nutritional supplements don’t help you lose weight.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: While you cannot rely on a nutritional supplement for all of your dietary needs, they can help you attain significant weigh loss results when coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just make sure they contain high concentrations of natural ingredients from a trusted source.

11. You always gain weight when you quit smoking.

•    True

•    False

FALSE: Although some men gain weight when they quit, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the risk of putting on a few pounds. And you can avoid that altogether by avoiding snacking on fattening foods. Instead, keep healthier options available (such as veggies, fruit or even sugar-less gum) for when a craving occurs. Exercise can also work out anxiety.

ANSWER KEY:

9 – 11 correct: Fitness guru

6 – 8 correct:     A healthy mind set

3 – 5 correct:     Need some coaching

0 – 2 correct:     Get off the couch!

Nutrition Claims: Reading Between The Lines

Author: Nara Demiefoodpyramid

We often see claims such as “zero trans fat” and “reduced in calories” on the front of food packages highlighting a product’s nutrition features. They are a quick and easy way to get information about a food, but these eye-catching statements do not tell the whole story. For example, a food free of trans fat may still be high in Calories. Be sure to also read the Nutrition Facts table to determine what a claim is really telling you.

Furthermore, the word “light” on a food label can mean different things. This claim is used to describe a food as “reduced in fat” and “reduced in calories”, but not always. Sometimes the word “light” describes the taste, colour or texture of a food. Manufacturers must describe what is “light” about the food. Manufacturers can only use a nutrition claim if their product meets certain criteria. Here are some other definitions for claims that may come in handy:  “Low” is always associated with a very small amount. “Low in fat” means the food contains no more than 3g (grams) of fat in the amount of food specified in the Nutrition Facts.

“Reduced in calories” means the food contains at least 25% less energy than the food to which it is compared.  “Source of fibre” means the food contains at least 2g of dietary fibre in the amount of food listed under the Nutrition Facts. A food with the claim ‘High source of fibre’ contains at least 4g in that amount of food. It is recommended that most to consume about 25g or more of fibre per day.  “Less” is used to compare one product with another. For example, a box of crackers claiming to contain “50% less salt” will have half the sodium of the food to which it’s compared. It doesn’t necessarily mean the product is low in sodium, so check the sodium content in the Nutrition Facts.   While claims are a good starting point, you need to check the Nutrition Facts to get the details.

The Nutrition Facts Table - What’s in it for You?  Have you ever wondered about the nutrition value of your favourite breakfast cereal? Does it have the dietary fibre you need? Is it high or low in sodium or saturated fat?  The Nutrition Facts table, which you see on almost all pre-packaged foods, makes it easier to answer questions you may have about what is in the foods you buy. In the Nutrition Facts you will find the number of Calories and the amounts of 13 nutrients contained in a specific amount of the food. These nutrients will be expressed in grams (g) or milligrams (mg) or as a % Daily Value.   The Daily Values are based on recommendations for a healthy diet. The % Daily Value makes comparing foods easier because it puts all nutrients on the same scale (0% – 100% Daily Value), much like a ruler. For example, a food that has a % Daily Value of 5% or less for fat, sodium or cholesterol would be low in these nutrients. A food that has a % Daily Value of 15% or more for calcium, vitamin A or fibre would be high in these nutrients.   In general, you should look for a higher % Daily Value next to nutrients you are trying to increase in your diet, such as fibre, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Look for a lower % Daily Value for nutrients you are trying to decrease, such as saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium.   Also remember to compare the specific amount of food listed at the top of the Nutrition Facts to the amount that you eat. If you eat double the amount listed, don’t forget to double the values for Calories and nutrients.        Nutrition Labelling – It’s the Amount That Counts         Food labels are valuable sources of information. A Nutrition Facts table is found on almost all food labels and it can tell you a lot about the food you buy. Reading food labels can help you make informed food choices, but there are important tips to keep in mind.   The nutrient information in the Nutrition Facts is always based on a specific ‘amount’ of food measured in household units – such as a cup of milk, or a slice of bread – followed by the metric measurement (g, mL). The amount reflects the quantity people usually eat at one sitting. The key however, is comparing the amount in the Nutrition Facts to the amount you actually eat. -Why? A favourite bowl you use at breakfast might hold anywhere from a ½ cup to a 2 ½ cup amount of cereal. Having 2 ½ cups of a particular cereal may be five times the amount specified in the Nutrition Facts. If the cereal box label indicates a ½ cup amount is 120 Calories, this means that, instead of consuming 120 Calories, you have just consumed a 600 Calorie bowl of cereal.   More tips for using the Nutrition Facts:  Remember – the amount of food in the Nutrition Facts is not a recommended serving. Canada’s Food Guide recommends the amount and type of food needed for different age and gender groups, as well as different stages of life.    Nutrition Facts on different brands of the same type of food may be based on different amounts of food. For example, one brand of crackers may have nutrition information based on eight crackers, while another brand’s is based on only four crackers. So check the metric amount under the Nutrition Facts when comparing products.    Not all foods are sold ‘ready to eat’. Foods that require preparation, such as cake mix baked with an egg, or breakfast cereal served with milk, will have one column in Nutrition Facts providing nutrient values for the food as sold, while another column will provide nutrient values for the food “as prepared,” with the extra egg or milk, for example.