By Katy Siwirski

During the 1960s, the amount of processed foods being created for consumers began to increase, and manufacturers were often making misleading claims about their products. Consumers grew concerned and worried about the level of trustworthiness of their food. In response to this concern, the government recommended that the Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, considered developing a system to determine nutritional qualities of food. This would allow consumers to follow a suggested diet, rather than eating blindly. In 1973, the first nutrition facts label regulation was created. The label was required to include nutrients presented in a serving size, such as calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins.

After the creation of the nutrition label in 1973, the FDA worked on proposals to improve food labeling. By 1990, Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, also known as NLEA, which gave the FDA the authority to require nutrition labeling on most food packages. The act gave the FDA two years to finalize regulations. The final version of the regulations was published in 1993, and nutrition labeling became mandatory on most packaged goods.

With the requirement of labels on packaged goods and various foods, it became easier for consumers to regulate their diets. Thankfully, it is 2019 and we have all the tools necessary to follow a healthy diet.

Let’s start at the top. Look for the recommended serving size, and compare your portion size to the serving size. If your portion exceeds the serving size, update the rest of the information accordingly. Next are the calories; find out how many calories are in a single serving. Now, you should allow the Percent Daily Values to be your guide. These levels are meant for individuals consuming 2,000 calories a day. Adjust accordingly, based on your daily calorie intake.

Eating less saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium may help reduce your risk for a chronic disease. Saturated and trans fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Consuming too much added sugar makes it difficult to meet nutrient needs within your calorie requirement. High levels of sodium can cause high blood pressure. Overall, it is important to remember to aim for low percentage daily value of these nutrients.

Vitamins and minerals are important to consume in one’s daily life. Consuming more fruits and vegetables is the key to receiving more of these nutrients. When it comes to the daily value guide, aim high in percentages for vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, potassium, vitamin D, and calcium. Due to certain diets, individuals cannot always physically eat the foods that carry these nutritional benefits.

That is where daily multivitamins come into play. Basic, low-dose multivitamins offer aid against nutritional deficiencies. Higher-dose products can help you rise above simply feeling “okay” on a day to day basis. As a user of multi-vitamins every day, I can say that it certainly plays a wonderful role in benefiting your health. It is recommended to take vitamins with food, but I find that taking gummy vitamins does not have the same nauseous side effect as pill vitamins. I tend to take my vitamins in the morning, and I do not eat breakfast initially, so gummy multi-vitamins are my best friend. Overall, multi-vitamins can lead to weight loss and better memory. Vitamins can also lead to various physical and mental disorders, so it is important to keep in check.

With advances in technology, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy in 2019. With plenty of “fad diets” around, it is important to find the one that is right for you. The nutrition guide will help you find the right level of nutritional intake, depending on your diet. Don’t forget your multi-vitamins, too! They always come in handy. The most important factor here is to consult with your doctor before taking on any extreme diet change. Live happy, and stay healthy!



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