Understanding and using the information on Nutrition Facts labels can help you make wise choices for healthy living. Here are some hints for cracking the code to reading all Nutrition Facts labels and more about the good nutrition in California Raisins.
- Pay close attention to Serving Size and to the number of Servings Per Container. Some small snack packs of California Raisins contain 1.5 ounces, about 40 grams or 1/4 cup, exactly one serving of these juicy tidbits. Other snack packs may contain only 1 ounce, about 28 grams. It only takes 3 of these tiny boxes to make 2 servings and add up to 260 calories. It’s a good idea to measure that 1/4-cup serving when snacking from the 15-ounce and larger packages.
- Calories are units used to measure food energy. In Raisins, most of these come from the natural sugars, 29 grams of them, and the 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Because these sugars are primarily natural glucose and fructose, 32% and 36% respectively, they are readily absorbed and can be utilized as a source of quick energy.
- Limit Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fats to less that 30% or fewer of the total calories consumed each day, and keep total Cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day. With 9 calories per gram of Fat, these add up pretty fast in butter, heavy cream and whole milk, while eggs, cheese and some meats can quickly add significant amounts of Cholesterol. But, you won’t find any of these in California Raisins.
- Sodium and Potassium work together to maintain normal blood pressure and guard against heart disease and stroke. It is recommended that the daily intake of sodium, a naturally occurring mineral found in salt, be less that 2,300 milligrams. That’s less that 1 teaspoon of salt per day. However, sodium occurs naturally in some foods and salt is often added to canned and preserved foods. Your body maintains a fluid balance that keeps cells alive and healthy with these and other mineral compounds, called electrolytes. Electrolytes also create electrical impulses that enable cells to send messages to keep your body functioning, and they help digest and synthesize proteins and carbohydrates. Limiting sodium intake is good, but help to insure an adequate potassium intake every day with that 310 milligrams from a serving of California Raisins.
- Total Carbohydrates includes all the sugars in a serving. This accounts for starches, added refined sugars and sweeteners and naturally occurring sugars as well as some dietary fibers. As noted, the sugars in California Raisins are all natural sugars consisting primarily of glucose and fructose.
- Fiber plays an important role in reducing cholesterol. The fiber compounds in Raisins like those found in other fruits, vegetables and whole grains bind bile acids that are made from the body’s cholesterol and, thus, have been shown to contribute to a healthy heart. Another fiber-like carbohydrate found in abundance in California Raisins is inulin, a prebiotic favoring healthy cell growth and slowing the growth of harmful bacteria in the colon. Aim for about 25 grams of fiber each day.
- A 130-pound woman needs about 47 grams of Protein every day. That’s about 0.8 gram per 2.2 pounds of body weight, the Recommended Daily Intake for Protein, or about what would be found in a 6-ounce piece of salmon. That 1/4-cup serving of Raisins contains only 1 gram of protein, but there are some really tasty sauces and other ways to add excitement and valuable nutrition to protein dishes of all kinds with California Raisins.
- Percent Daily Values are listed for the total amount of each nutrient you should eat every day. For quick reference, 5% or less is low while 20% or more is high. California Raisins fall within that range for potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and iron. When combined with other foods, they can make a significant contribution to the intake of these and other nutrients. Especially high in antioxidants, which are not included here, they are a Wise Choice, anytime.