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4 Warning Signs to Watch out for When Purchasing Packaged Foods


What has a tea time cake in a box in common with a bag of chips? Both of them are thought to be unhealthy food. Junk food is a term given to foods that have a low nutritional value and high calorific value. Junk food has an addictive nature because of its flavour; but it does not have any such healthy impact on the human body. On the other hand, it causes weight gain, increases the risk of hypertension and heart disease and can cause lifestyle diseases too. This is why it is always advised to read and understand the food labels while buying any type of packaged meal.


When Purchasing Packaged Foods, Keep The Following Four Things In Mind:

1. Serving Size:
There is a serving size listed on every food label (see point one). While some varieties of packaged food have just one serving, others could have many servings. Regarding this serving size, the remainder of the label's information is stated. According to a serving size of 100ml, for instance, the nutritional information on a juice box could be presented. However. Perhaps 200ml are in the package. You would thus consume twice as many calories as shown on the juice carton if you drank the entire container.

2. Healthy Foods or Treats
Your body need a variety of vitamins and minerals in addition to proteins in order to grow muscle. Iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many vitamins (A, B, C, D, etc.) are included in this. It is therefore wise to choose snacks that are rich in these nutrients.

3. The types of nutrients present:

Calories in a prepackaged snack are divided into categories such as carbs, proteins, fats, sugar, vitamins, and minerals. Usually, these concentrations are expressed in grams. Starch, sugar, and dietary fiber are the components of carbohydrates. With the exception of fiber, this serves as a direct energy source but can also cause blood sugar levels to rise. Ideally, choose packaged snacks with less than 10g of sugar per 100g of weight and 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.

You must then check the fat content. You should pay close attention to the amount of saturated fat in each serving to distinguish between packaged snacks for kids that are harmful and those that are good. Choose meals with little saturated fat in them. A snack may be described as having no saturated fats if it has less than 1.5 grams of saturated fat per 100g. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that the amount of saturated fat in many servings might add up.

The quantity of trans fats is something else to consider. These fats reduce the amounts of good cholesterol while raising the levels of bad cholesterol. Choose meals with no trans fats or as little as one gram.

Levels of salt are a different factor that require your attention. In salt, sodium plays a key role. Even though the snack may only have 100 mg of sodium on the label, it actually has 250 mg of salt. According to the WHO, your daily salt intake should not exceed 2,300 mg.


4. RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowance
Checking the RDA values on nutrition labels is crucial when buying packaged goods since they show you how much fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and energy you require depending on your age, gender, lifestyle, and level of activity. As a result, you will be able to determine whether a certain food item, for instance, has more fat per serving than is healthy for you.

Men who perform sedentary jobs, for example, require 54g of protein daily and 2110 Kcal of energy, according to the ICMR. Women who work hard require 46g of protein and 2720 Kcal of calories each day. Boys between the ages of 10 and 12 require 2220 Kcal of energy, whilst females in the same age range require 2060 Kcal.

Always carefully study the product label to make a more informed decision about the food you are consuming. Understanding food labels will enable you to evaluate different snacks and select the healthier one if you are on a particular diet or suffer from health concerns like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

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When purchasing packaged food, it should be scrutinized carefully. Consideration should be given to the substance's color, smell, and look. Checking the expiration date is necessary if it is in an airtight container or bottle. It should be checked to verify if the packets have been opened before buying.

Never buy:

Cans or containers with dents, swells, or leaks
goods with faulty or damaged packing
unclean or cracked eggs
items that have been cooled or frozen but were not stored in a refrigerator or freezer
contaminated or moldy items
items that are prepared and put out on countertops.
Takeaway meals that are hot but not boiling hot
anything about which you have concerns regarding the quality.

Foods with a high risk of contamination should be stored out of the danger zone (5 °C to 60 °C). Food should be stored at 5 °C or below or 60 °C or above.

When purchasing high-risk items, make sure to pack them appropriately and bring them home right away to reduce the amount of time they spend in the temperature danger zone.

Few hints for shopping safely:

Preferably pick up any frozen or refrigerated items toward the conclusion of your shopping journey.

Later on in your vacation, pick up hot chickens and other hot food; keep it apart from cold food.

Avoid spilling liquids from fish, chicken, or meat onto other goods.

If you're purchasing from a deli, be sure the staff handles different food kinds using different tongs, tools, or ways.

Regularly wash your reusable shopping bags, especially if they have been contaminated by food juices.

The safety and quality of your food might be impacted by how you handle it, even if food producers and merchants have complied with all applicable rules.

You are responsible for ensuring the food's safety once you have made a purchase. To ensure that the food you buy will be safe to consume, pick, pack, and transport it properly.

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