Food composition

Last update 24.02.2019

“Food is the primary source of survival, rather than personal satisfaction or psychological reward. So food must feed the body not the emotions! Healthy food is so rich in nutrients that will then be absorbed by our body” from Joe Hoertig-Paulus

Read the composition (nutrition facts) on the label before buying your food in your supermarket.

Each food contains macronutrients (substances with caloric intake: carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and micronutrients (nutrients in small quantities e.g. vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, …).

All foods contain a combination of the 3 caloric macronutrients and all the whole-foods (especially vegetables) have the best content of micronutrients.

By law, food industries are required to label the exact food composition on each package for sale. Labeling is therefore crucial for knowing the food composition of the product we are buying (e.g. the percentage of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other ingredients). They are given a lot of information in this way. Take advantage of it!

About whole-foods… Why should be whole? Aristotle already knew that by wisely combining the various ingredients it was possible to obtain added value. So eat whole-foods for more micronutrients, vary what you eat every day and avoid added sugars.

Check the food label!

Here an example of a food label for brown rice, label in Switzerland (GE, FR, IT):

 

If you need to know the exact food composition of any food product, you can find relevant information on the following databases, for different countries (free):

Switzerland CH (German, Italian, French, English)

United States of America USA (English)

Italy I (Italian)

Some applications for smartphones have been developed and can be downloaded in Apple Store or Google Play.

You can also find an excellent database with detailed food compositions in the following book by the authors Souci / Fachmann / Kaut. These data are available online or as a book at this link. The book is written in different languages (EN, GE, FR):

All food label is controlled by the regulations of national laws and have to be described according to them.

In Switzerland (CH) the labeling is regulated by this law.

In Europe (EU) the labeling is regulated by this law.

All food regulations in Switzerland (German, French, Italian) can be found here.

A good explanation of labelling from a the U.S. FDA  (Food and Drug Administration) can be found here.

 

Disclaimer: This text is only for illustration purposes and does not replace your doctor’s opinion. It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.