I once had a discussion with one of my clients about how one should prepare a meal involving canned foods. I rarely indulge in the eating of canned veggies and tried to use either fresh or frozen products. When I did eat veggies or other "water-packed" foods, I always drained out the packing fluids and flushed the food with water rinsing it out at least 3-4 times. I then would use fresh water in the preparation for cooking. This way, practically none of the packing preservatives would go into the container used to cook with or to warm up the food.

What was amazing was what she told me next. She stated that she had never even heard of such a thing and that she had always used the packing fluids to prepare foods.

US Government Regulations require that all enriched or fortified foods, or foods that make any nutritional claim, to include the nutritional information on the back of the product. They are usually divided into two groups, the "Nutritional Information per Serving" and the "Percentage of the US Recommended Daily Allowances".

When the nutritional information is listed, the amount of seven vitamins and minerals must be included, as well as the percentages of protein, carbs and fats recommended by the US RDA and their weight in grams. And as many as twelve additional vitamins and minerals may be added to the list but only at the manufacturer’s choice (the US RDA information is in the amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals used as standards in nutritional labeling).

Calories per serving must be listed on food labels. These depend on the amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the food as well. Only two kinds of fat are required in nutritional labeling: (1)polyunsaturated and (2) saturated fats. If you are on a fat-controlled diet you will need to keep an eye on the amount of "cholesterol". It is not mandatory for them to list the amount of cholesterol on labels.

Ingredient labeling is listed in order of concentration, the ingredients of a product, descending from the largest to the smallest.

Be sure to check the serving size and the number of servings per package. Compare cost per equal serving and nutrients in each serving with other products. Some supermarkets may have this displayed on the shelving of the products.


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