Kitchen math that is worth the effort

January 16, 2009

fridayAt this time of year, I know that many people (myself included) are trying to make amends for indulgent food choices we made during the holidays.

Although this writer’s approach to healthy eating requires math, I think it’s an interesting approach since it helps people to evaluate not just the calories of a food but the potential nutrient value, too.

Here’s an excerpt from her article that summarizes how to evaluate foods to determine whether they are good nutrient choices:

First, find the “Percent Daily Values (% DV)” on the right side of the label. These are the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations for how much fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need each day if you’re eating a 2,000-calorie diet.

• If the DV is 5 percent or less, it’s considered “low” for the nutrients. A 20 percent DV or more is “high.”
• So for fat, sodium and cholesterol, a Percent Daily Value of 5 or lower is good; a DV of 20 or higher is bad.
• For total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, a DV of 5 or lower is bad; a DV of 20 or higher is good.

How do you decide what to eat? Is it all about fat and calories for you or do you count carbs? Or, do you think about other nutrients, too?