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The Basics of Nutrition and Dietetics: Getting Familiar

We live and we consume. This is reality, or at least one of the ways of seeing reality. Faced with the expansion of the number of small shops / grocery stores / supermarkets (I classified these denominations as Russian dolls ... you see?) And, at the same time, the number of food products to which we are exposed, it is sometimes difficult to give an opinion and to make an informed choice. So the French government set up the Nutri-score system a few years ago. This nutritional labeling system consists of five letters, ranging from A to E and from green to red, corresponding to the nutritional quality of a food product. Clever as an invention, isn't it? But is it that easy to decipher?

Photo by The RedBurn - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Some clarifications about the Nutri-score:

First of all, the Nutri-score is assigned according to the nutritional qualities of a product and is always calculated per 100g of food.

In addition, it is calculated taking into account, on the one hand, the positive points of the food product, namely the presence of: fibers, proteins, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, rapeseed oil, walnuts and olives. On the other hand, negative points: calories, saturated fatty acids, sugars, salt.

Finally, it was designed with the aim of being able to compare products within the same food family. Indeed, let's take breakfast cereal on the off chance. Cereals of the brand known to all and whose name we will not mention but which begins with a K ... (I'm talking about Kellogg and not Kalisana, much more famous, of course) will be assigned a D. You might as well say that its nutritional content relegates them to the bottom of the scale. And what good is it to have a stomach full for an hour or two at most? While our Spring Granola would undoubtedly be assigned the letter B (because calculated on 100g of food. A portion of 40-50g, varying according to the build and athleticism of individual X, would be more suitable for small- lunch).

After having drawn up a non-exhaustive summary of this nutritional tool put on the market to help consumers, we can now tackle the beginnings of nutritional labeling.
Some things are mandatory:

  • The sales name;
  • The list of ingredients;
  • The expiry date;
  • The amount ;
  • The conditions of conservation and use;
  • The user manual ;
  • The name and address of the manufacturer / packaging site / seller / distributor;
  • The lot number;
  • Nutritional values

One of the above obligations sometimes leads us to tear our hair out as it is made up of an incalculable number of foods, additives, aromas, and so on. It's none other than… the list of ingredients. The foods listed are listed in order of magnitude. So the first on the list is the one with the majority, and so on. In addition, the actual percentage is only mandatory for foods included in the food's sales description. This list sometimes contains additives and / or flavorings. The former, synthetic or natural, are intentionally added to food in order to facilitate the manufacturing process, improve its appearance, taste, etc. They are legalized and listed according to a rating on the following site:
The latter, for their part, enhance the products with a modified smell and / or taste.

Thus, the food industry has gradually played with different stratagems to deceive the taste and the food pleasure of consumers. This had repercussions on the habits but also the food sensations of individuals.

What if we reclaimed quality food, mindfully and without guilt?

Article written by Louise Florizoone | Dietitian and expert in sports nutrition Kalisana

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