The Nutrition Facts Label: How to Read it

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Nutrition Facts Labels, why do they exist in the first place? Who reads them, and why is it important to know what’s inside the food we eat?

Nutrition facts labels are everywhere. They’re on more packs, tins, bottles, cans, boxes, and sleeves than you can shake a stick at.

Wondering why? simple—Nutritional facts labels help consumers make quick, informed choices about the products they use.

The question is: do you know how to read and understand what’s on the Nutrition Facts Label?

Here’s an in-depth guide to deciphering the ubiquitous Nutrition Facts Label.

Now, How Did This Start?

Nutrition facts labels first appeared in 1994 as a standardized requirement recommended by the US FDA. Although considered fairly new, the idea has existed for almost a century but was only strictly imposed in the 90s.

As the dietary quality of the United States continued to decline and several food-related diseases started to crop up, nutritionists and dieticians lobbied for a more health-conscious approach to food consumerism.

Their reports eventually became a part of the entire drive to push for a healthier diet with a healthier nation as a result. 

Effects of its Existence

It has been almost three decades since the drive to raise food and nutritional awareness to the public in the form of nutritional facts labels began.

What has it accomplished so far?

Although the desired outcome is 100% of people opt to choose healthy food, such is not the case.

The good thing about it, though, is that there is a growing movement to raise food and nutritional awareness. The results are an ever-increasing number of people choosing to eat healthier.  

It also helps that nutritional health labels these days are at least 15% larger than they used to be. Companies have even made an effort to make nutrition facts labels an integral part of the packaging to make it look more seamless.

More people are picking up items on the grocery aisle and checking the back before deciding to buy or not.

Now, here’s what all that fine print means:

Nutrition Facts Label Breakdown

A nutrition fact label is broken down into three sections. Each one serves a purpose and is broken down further into smaller parts. This gives consumers a more detailed report of what’s in the food they’re about to buy.

Here’s how each section benefits the consumers:

1. Serving Information

Right at the top of the label, you’ll see a bold heading that states Nutrition Facts. Directly below that will be a description of the number of servings per container and the standard serving size. 

The size of servings has been standardized to make it easier to compare similar food items. They are usually given in simple units to make this easier to understand, for example, pieces, cups, tablespoons (tbsp), grams (g), or milliliters (ml).

Serving size is not a recommendation. It is the amount people normally drink or eat as a product’s serving. In our case, Molassity has 15 servings per 300g bottle if you use 15ml/1Tbsp per serving.

Remember: The nutrient amounts you see on the label are what you will get from one single serving of that product. Serving size is important because if you have two tablespoons of Molassity’s Pomegranate Molasses, you will have consumed two servings. 

That’s twice the amount of calories and twice the amount of nutrients, i.e., two times the standard serving. Everything on this label is specified in relation to this single-serving amount outlined at the very top of the label.

2. Calorie Information

How many calories does it have? How many calories should I eat to stay healthy? 

Simply put, the Calorie Information on your nutrition facts label tells you how much energy you will get from a single serving of a food product. 

In our case, it’s 50 calories of glorious pomegranate goodness. 

Mmmm!

If you were to consume the whole bottle, it would be 15 x 50 = 750 calories. 

That’s still pretty low as calorie counts go, mostly because Molassity has no added sugar, colorants, or preservatives. Using a single ingredient truly has great benefits, which, thankfully, doesn’t show up around the waistline.

3. Nutrients

Directly below the calorie statement is the nutrition information section of the label. This is an especially useful section that details key nutrients that can directly impact your health. 

It will help you identify the right kind of food to support your dietary plan. 

From this section of the nutrition facts label, you can look for food products that contain more of the essential nutrients that you want and fewer of the foods which have nutrients you don’t want.

Nutrients You Should Avoid: High Sodium, Added Sugar, Saturated Fat

Taking a look at the Molassity label, it is easy to see that we’re three-for-three here: zero sodium, zero total fats, and zero added sugars.

Not sure why there’s so much emphasis on these three ingredients? Here’s our guide to understanding sodium, sugars, and saturated fats.

What’s All The Fuss About?

Although we did state that sodium, sugar, and saturated fats should be avoided, they do have a role in our diet. As with everything in life, moderation is key. 

Here’s a closer look at why:

Sodium

Sodium isn’t all that bad if taken in moderate quantities. It helps retain water and keeps your blood pressure at an optimal level. Sodium also helps our brains function better. 

When you take unnecessarily large doses of sodium, it becomes dangerous. Hypertension, heart failure, and cardiovascular diseases are the main side effects of too much sodium consumption.

Other health issues that crop up with too much sodium consumption include stomach lining damage, increased risk of cancer, and osteoporosis.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are hard to avoid as these are normally found in meat products. For as long as we’ve been eating meat and other types of food that contain saturated fats, it was only in 2003 when experts established a direct correlation between it and cardiovascular disease. 

It didn’t take long for important organizations like the WHO (World Health Organization), AHA (American Heart Association), and others to take a stand against it. 

The recommendation by these organizations was to either replace it with unsaturated fats or completely remove them from one’s diet.

Just how serious is this campaign to remove saturated fats from our diets? The equivalent of WHO and AHA in other countries have banded together to completely eradicate saturated fat as a part of our daily diets.

Why are they serious about this fight? Well, here are the diseases associated with saturated fats:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Cancer (including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer)
  • Bone damage

So, the next time you check a nutrition facts label, if it says saturated fats on it, put it back on the shelf and walk away. But if it says unsaturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated, then you’re good. 

Just make sure you still eat in moderation despite the fat being unsaturated.

Sugar

Sugar is our body’s main source of energy. If taken in acceptable amounts, sugar is important in our diet. You can also use sugar to quickly raise your energy levels after working out or participating in strenuous activities.

Too much sugar increases an unwanted intake of calories in your body. These can turn into fatty deposits. 

Sugar is also bad for people with impaired ability to process it. The biggest and most dangerous effect of too much sugar in our bodies results in Diabetes.

Nutrition Facts Label: Added Sugar Vs. Total Sugar

From the nutrition facts label, we can also see that the total carbohydrate content of each serving of Molassity is 13g. This is broken into two sections: Totals Sugars and Added Sugars.

Total Sugars describe the amount of sugar that naturally occurs in the food. For example, a fresh mango produces approximately 1 cup of fruit. It will have roughly 46 grams of naturally occurring sugar. 

Added Sugars are different. It describes how much sugar was added to the product during its production. For instance, a cup of canned mango (nectar) will have over 12 grams of sugars (including NLEA.)

Some products need to be sweetened artificially to taste nice, so this is where you’ll find how much sugar was added to improve the product during its production.

Taking a look at the Molassity nutrition facts label, you’ll see there is only 13g of sugar per serving, none of which was added during production. 

All of the sugars in Molassity’s Pomegranate Molasses are sugars that occur naturally in the pomegranate fruit. And this is just one reason why Molassity’s Pomegranate Molasses is so good for you.

Nutrition Facts Label: Are There Nutrients I Should be Getting More of?

Definitely! 

Fiber, potassium, vitamin D, iron, and calcium are typically the nutrients that are missing from many modern diets. 

Upping the intake of these key nutrients can positively impact your diet and general health. For example, research shows that a diet that includes potassium can reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure. 

As you can see from the Molassity label, there’s plenty of potassium in each serving of our pomegranate molasses—score a point for your blood pressure each time you serve some!

Now Let’s Talk About the Percentage of Daily Value (%DV)

Down at the right-hand side of the nutrition facts label, you will find the Percentage of Daily Value. 

This is associated with each of the nutrients in a single serving of the food item. This means how much of the daily allowance of a particular nutrient is served in a single serving of the food product. 

For example, Molassity has 170mg of potassium per serving, equating to 4% of the total allowable daily potassium intake.

The total carbohydrates in a serving of Molassity Pomegranate Molasses are 13g or 4% of the total daily allowance. As a general guideline, less than 5%DV is considered low, while more than 20%DV is considered high.

Nutrition Facts Label | Molassity Pomegranate Molasses

Be Part Of The Solution! 

The first real step you can take is to try Molassity as a sweetener replacement for the food you prepare and eat.

Not sure how? Let us help!

  • Enjoy only fruit and no added sugars with this dish!
  • Skip the sodium and consider a veggie dish! They really are yummy. Check out this recipe here.
  • Still want your meat? Here’s how you can healthify it!

FAQ

What Are The Various Parts Of A Nutrition Facts Label?

The different sections include serving information, calorie count per serving, and nutritional value. There’s also a quick guide to the daily value percentage of each nutrient per serving. Other pertinent information included in the nutrition facts label includes daily percent values.

Why Was The Nutrition Facts Label Introduced?

Three reasons—to prevent consumer fraud, to help people make healthier choices, and to avoid food-based illnesses. 

What Food Products Do Not Require A Nutrition Facts Label?

Raw foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables do not require a nutrition facts label. Raw meat products such as fish, deer, quail, ostrich do not require a nutrition facts label either as they’re FDA regulated. Similarly, food prepared and sold at an establishment like a bakery need not have a nutrition facts label.

Conclusion

Understanding the nutritional facts label on your food products can go a long way to helping you regulate your diet and make smart choices about food products you may want to include or leave out of your lifestyle. 

The huge advantage Molassity Pomegranate Molasses has is that it is made from a single ingredient, with no added sugars, preservatives, or flavorings. Molassity delivers all the goodness of pomegranates without introducing anything else. 

Looking at the nutritional facts label, you can see how this impacts a diet and how much Molassity can contribute to a healthy lifestyle without introducing high sugar levels or unwanted nutritional items to your daily diet. 

We encourage you to compare our nutritional value label with other pomegranate molasses brands. We think you’ll find Molassity Pomegranate Molasses is the best one out there in terms of nutritional value.

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