APRIL 2013
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Crack the code: Nutrition facts label – PART II



People who read nutrition labels are more inclined toward a healthier lifestyle. This statement is backed by a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control. Women who read nutrition labels in United States were found to be 8 pounds lighter than their counterparts who did not study nutrition label.

Total carb

Carbs are an important nutrient, and a key source of energy for the body includes healthy carbs such as whole grains and refined carbs (unhealthy ones).

Dietary fiber

The average adult should eat about 25-30 grams of fiber daily. When buying bread or flour, look for a brand with 3 grams or more per serving. Fibers can be categorized as soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in oatmeal, quinoa and dried beans, can help lower cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains and fruit and vegetable skins, help in digestion and reduces the risk of bowel disorders. 


"Sugar" refers to the family of simple carbohydrates that are found naturally in foods and are added to foods as sweeteners. Sugar has many other names. Besides ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose, other names for sugar include molasses, cane sugar, corn, raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, all of which provide little nutritional value.

Net carbs

The presence of fiber can slow down the impact of the other carbohydrates in a meal. Therefore, when counting carbs, we subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrate. The net carbs in a food affects blood sugar.


For most of us, .45 gram of protein daily per pound of body weight (that's 68 grams for a 150-pound person) is plenty of protein. Most Indians who are vegetarians also get enough protein through a variety of beans, (12 to 14 g per cup cooked); lentils, (18 g per cup cooked) nuts, (3 to 7 g per 1/3-cup serving), dairy products (8 g per cup).

Vitamins and minerals

This list includes vitamins and minerals found in the food naturally or added. The percentage of daily value is calculated for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Information is required for Vitamins A and C, and the minerals iron, calcium and sodium.


Items are listed by weight in descending order of predominance, so the major ones come first. When checking a label on bread, for instance, you want to see that the first ingredient is whole wheat or another grain.

Recipe corner

Green Pearl Barley pulao


Take 1 tbsp coconut oil, temper with cumin seeds, sauté onions and chili ginger garlic paste, add chopped spinach, mint , carrots, beans sauté until spinach is cooked, add mint and tomatoes sauté until soft add both masalas, sugar, cooked barley and sauté for few more minutes until flavors are well blended in barley. Enjoy the whole grain pulao; it has more fiber, potassium, zinc and folate than rice pulao.

To our health!

Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at swarayog@gmail.com

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