Nutrition Labels Decoded
AFP RELAXNEWS Actress Cameron Diaz' new book comes out December 31. Related Stories Cameron Diaz buys $9 million Chelsea condo in Art Deco Walker Tower Hollywood star Cameron Diaz has taken a page from her good friend Gwyneth Paltrow and written a book on nutrition and health. Rather than focusing on a seven-day or month-long diet plan, the book "offers a holistic, long-term approach to making consistent choices and reaching the ultimate goal: a long, strong, happy, healthy life," a promo reads. diaz_cameron via Instagram Maybe part of the healthy life is going makeup-free. Cameron Diaz posted this bare-faced pic on Instagram to promote her new book. Diaz, 41, also focuses on debunking the hype around food groups, explains the benefits of vitamins and minerals, and delves into the rationale of embracing "the instinct of hunger to satisfy it with whole, nutrient-dense foods." RELATED: CAMERON DIAZ ROCKS EDGY COSTUMES AS MISS HANNIGAN A renowned fitness fan and surfer, Diaz also focuses on the much-needed benefits of a daily workout to stave off disease and boost mood and energy levels. But she admits that she wasn't always such a health eater. "If you are what you eat, I was a bean burrito with extra cheese and extra sauce, no onions," she said, adding that her formerly poor diet negatively affected her skin and body. To make changes, she began learning about nutrition and well-being, and says her new book is a result of all that she's learned.
Every product has a story to tell or better yet, sell. Information printed on packages is helpful but it's often confusing and even a bit misleading. While lists of ingredients and the Nutrition Facts panel are there to help shoppers choose foods to fit their nutritional needs, it's not always easy to interpret. Learning how to decode the jumble of numbers and percentages is the first step in shopping for healthier foods. "The best guide for making decisions affecting your diet is the nutrition facts panel, which is regulated by the FDA and for meats and poultry by the USDA," said Carolyn O'Neil, registered dietitian and nutrition advisor for BestFoodFacts.org. "The Nutrition Facts panel lists all of the important specs, such as calories, fats, sodium, fiber, sugar and several key vitamins and minerals." Nutrition label 101 Here are some of O'Neil's tips on understanding nutrition labels, so you can be a more informed consumer and make healthier decisions for your family. Always note serving sizes: While afood or beverage may seem like a good nutritional fit, the first thing tonotice should always be the serving size. Watch out because if you readthat a serving contains 100 calories, for instance, that may be for 8ounces of a juice beverage and the container may hold 16 ounces.