Food provides fuel for nourishment, growth, and to feel good. And most of us like to eat food that's good for us, especially heart healthy choices. Taking a closer look at food labels and packaging, we can learn a whole lot more
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We eat food to give our body precious fuel for nourishment, growth and to feel good with the things we love to do, and most of us like to eat food that's good for us, especially heart healthy choices. And with Canada implementing mandatory nutrition labeling this year, Canadians are in a great position to know, what's in it? Liz Pearson is a Registered Dietitian. Liz Pearson: What's in it? Yes, we should know, and by taking a closure look now at all food packaging, we can learn a whole lot more. Canada has one of the most progressive food labeling systems in the world. As of last December, in addition to listing ingredients, all manufactures are now regulated by law to give you much more nutritional information. But more importantly, all of the information on the Nutrition Facts Panel is now standardized. So now you can see, not only what's in it, but you can also accurately compare one brand of food to another. The fat content in food has always been somewhat confusing. So let's take a closer look as how the Nutrition Fact Panel can help with this. As you probably know not all fats are bad. In fact, liquid and salt fats, also known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are not only cholesterol free, they can also lower the kind of cholesterol that causes heart disease. Some manufactures also list the Omega fatty acids. You may not see them very often on the Nutrition Facts Panel, because they are not considered a required listing. But some products that contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 will list them. The Omega-3 fats are especially hard to find in our everyday foods, and yet they are essential to good health. But now the bad facts. Too much saturated fat will raise blood cholesterol, and so will Trans fat. Saturated fat is the one that clogs the arteries, and it's found in meat and full fat dairy products, like butter, cream and cheese. But Trans fats packs a double punch. It not only raises the bad cholesterol in our blood, it can also lower the kind of cholesterol that's beneficial to our health. Let's just look at one last example of how this new labeling helps. For example when making a decision for your best spread option, a Non Hydrogenated Margarine is your best choice. Always check the Facts Panel, and choose a Non Hydrogenated Margarine that has no Trans Fats. It's your best option for a Heart Healthy diet. So do take time to compare labels, and remember a Heart Smart diet is low in saturated fats, it's trans fat free, but it's also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including the beneficial Omega-3 fats. And of course, when there are far more important things to do with your summer than spending extra time preparing meals. At least for now with a little comparison shopping, you can also feel very good about what's in it?

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