Thursday, 11 October 2007

No surprise: nutrition labels found to give insufficient information

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Nutrition labels may have been useful 15 years ago, but researchers say now that the "recommended daily allowance" figure commonly quoted on nutrition labels makes it hard for many consumers to translate that information into nutrient quantities.

For example, if a product has calcium, and perhaps contains 15 percent of the RDA of that ingredient, how much is that quality, specifically? Since many of us have custom nutrition needs, the bare-bones information on most processed foods can be somewhat meaningless, not to mention misleading.

If you're a female at risk for osteoporosis, can you determine from all the foods you eat exactly what your calcium intake is for a normal day? My guess is no. Did you know that there are many forms of calcium as well, each with a different level of bio-availability? As in, calcium carbonate or calcium citrate? The devil, as always, is in the details.

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