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The Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) is a pretty technical looking piece of artwork… and the main question people ask about it is…

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Well, we want you to understand it as well as we do. Balance by Design comes from understanding. Your body is your temple, and we want to help you respect that temple!

We've taken the elements from the NIP and other parts of our label and explained them below.


Nutritionally Balanced
By nutritionally balanced we mean that the ratio's of all the main nutrients in a food or meal are in balance and proportional to the levels of each that we need. The protein, complex carbohydrate, sugars, dietary fibre, fats and key vitamins and minerals are present in One Square Meal in perfect balance with one another and in proportion to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of each of these nutrients. Every mouthful of a One Square Meal is nutritionally balanced. While other products aim to be high or low in one nutrient eg. high protein, low fat or low carb, with One Square meal we aimed for the optimum level for all the main nutrients to strive toward “the most nutritionally balanced single food ever made.”
Recommended Daily Intake
Because macronutrients like protein, carbohydrate and fat use %DI and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals use RDI, at One Square Meal we use the term "Recommended Daily Intake" when talking about both macro and micro nutrients. Most consumers recognise this term as the amount of each nutrient that nutrition experts recommend we have in our daily diet.
Percentage Daily Intake (%DI)

Health professionals have set recommended amounts of all the macronutrients that we need in our diet each day. The %DI figures in the nutritional information panel on the One Square Meal pack show you the percentage of these recommended amounts for each nutrient that is present in one serving, where a serving is One Square Meal (OSM bars). One Square Meal delivers 33.3% (one third) of the recommended daily intake for protein, carbohydrate, dietary fibre and fats. We think delivering a third of all these makes One Square Meal the ultimate food when it comes to nutritional balance and living up to its name.

So that it is easy for consumers to compare one food product with another, all percentage daily intake values on food labels in New Zealand must be based on an average diet of 8700kJ. That way you are comparing 'apples with apples'. This figure is based on the average energy consumption per day for adults and children over 4 years of age in Australia and New Zealand. The actual daily intake requirements of an individual can vary a bit depending on energy needs, which in turn depend on your age, gender and level of activity. See the definition of energy needs for more details.

Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
This is the term used to express the amount of a micronutrient ie. a vitamin or mineral, that health professionals recommend we have in our diet each day. The nutrition information panel (NIP) on the One Square Meal pack gives the proportion of this RDI that is delivered by one serving, where one serving is One Square Meal (two OSM bars). We have listed 17 of the key vitamins and minerals that are present in One Square Meal and ensured that there is at least a third of the RDI of all of them with only one exception which is sodium, so that this Square Meal is balanced in terms of these micronutrients as well.
Energy
Energy is the fuel our body uses to live and function. We get this energy from food and beverages. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are the three main nutrients that provide energy. One gram of protein or carbohydrate yields 17 kilojoules (4 calories). Fat is a more energy rich nutrient yielding 37 kilojoules (almost 9 calories) per gram. Most foods are a combination of protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre. The number of calories in a food is the sum of the calories provided by each nutrient. Reading the nutritional label tells us the total amount of energy present in a serving or per 100g mass of that food.
Kilojoule (kJ)
The kilojoule is a measurement of energy. It can be used to quantify how much energy we can get from the food we consume or how much energy we spend when we exercise.
Calorie (kcal)
Calories are just another measurement of energy. One calorie is equal to 4.18 kilojoules. Many people think that energy is good while calories are bad but really, one is just a measure of the other.
Energy Needs / Energy Balance

Daily energy needs depend on a person's age, gender, height, weight, metabolic rate and level of physical activity. Its important that you monitor and understand your relative energy needs compared to your actual food intake in order to balance the books.

On average:
4 – 7 year olds require between 6000 – 8000 kJ/day
8 – 11 year olds require between 7000 – 9000 kJ/day
12 – 15 year olds require between 8000 – 12000 kJ/day
16 – 18 year olds require between 9000 – 14,000 kJ/day
Adult men require between 9000 – 14,000 kJ/day
Adult women require between 7000 – 11,000 kJ/day
(Source: Truswell et al 1990)

Again these are average figures and level of activity can make a big difference. For example a six year old boy with a vigorous activity level may require 9020 kJ/day while a 16 year old girl classed as 'very sedentary' may need only 8360 kJ/day.

The amount of energy we need changes throughout our lives and with our lifestyles. If you regularly eat less than your energy needs you will lose weight. When you eat more than you need, your body will convert the excess into body fat and store the energy for a time. Such fat may later be harnessed as energy for activity or remain as fat stores if an energy deficit is not achieved. When we achieve an energy balance we meet our body's energy requirements, while achieving and maintaining a desirable body composition.

At One Square Meal we encourage everyone to achieve more “balance by design” in their lives which, in part, means getting out there and being active and balancing the inputs (what we eat) and outputs (our level of activity and energy we burn). In amongst this we encourage you to maintain a varied diet using a diversity of foods.

Formulated Meal Replacement
This is the term used to describe a single food or pre-packaged selection of foods that is sold as a replacement for one or more of the daily meals but not as a total diet replacement. One of the main guidelines for a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of foods from all the main food groups. One Square Meal is a great food to have for a meal but it shouldn't be eaten for every meal.
MACRONUTRIENTS
These are nutrients needed by the human body in large quantities for it to function normally. They include protein, carbohydrates and fats. These nutrients supply the energy (calories) and building blocks needed for growth, maintenance and activity. They are broken down in the body into their basic units: sugars from carbohydrates, fatty acids and glycerol from fats and amino acids from proteins.
Protein
Protein is used by the body for growth, maintenance, repair of tissue and formation of new tissues. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. There are 20 standard amino acids most of which can be made in the body but nine are essential amino acids which must be supplied from the food we eat. One Square Meal contains high quality soy protein, which contains all the essential amino acids at levels appropriate to meet the requirements of the human body.
Carbohydrates

These are the main source of energy in the diet and the term Carbohydrate includes both complex carbohydrates such as starches, and simple sugars such as glucose, lactose, fructose and sucrose.

When metabolised in the body both complex carbohydrates and simple sugars are broken down to glucose, which enters the blood stream to provide blood sugar for the body's immediate energy needs. Excess is stored in the muscles or liver as glycogen where it is easily converted back to glucose when required. Once these stores have been topped up, left over carbohydrate is used to increase metabolism and can also be converted to fat for storage. Excess energy intake from carbohydrate in the form of added sugar (especially high-sugar beverages and snacks) may contribute to overweight or obesity. One Square Meal contains no added sugar.

Sugars

The term sugars is used to describe small carbohydrate molecules and includes lactose, fructose, glucose and sucrose among others. Sugars occur naturally in food eg. lactose is the main naturally occurring sugar in milk and fructose is the main one in fruit.

Sugar, by contrast, is used to describe the most common of the sugars, purified sucrose. Other terms used for this are refined sugar, cane sugar and added sugar. Sucrose is extracted from sugar cane and also sugar beet. Two other refined sugars that are added to many foods are fructose and glucose. These are often added in a syrup form eg. glucose syrup or high fructose corn syrup. This refined sugar is sometimes referred to as providing nothing but 'empty' calories because it provides energy but does not provide other essential nutrients. It is easy to exceed you energy requirements when eating food or drink with added sugar. Foods with naturally occurring sugars such as milk, fruit and vegetables by contrast also provide other essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

Many cereal type bars use cane sugar and glucose syrup as binders to stick the grains of cereal and other ingredients together. When developing One Square Meal we wanted to avoid adding refined sugar so we used manuka honey and dried fruit as natural sources of sweetness. To keep a healthy balance between the amount of complex carbohydrates and the amount of simple sugars in One Square Meal we designed the total amount of all sugars in One Square Meal to be one third (33.3%) of the RDI for sugars.

Dietary Fibre
Dietary fibre is a general term covering a wide variety of substances, which are resistant to digestion. These substances are important for the health of the digestive system, for lowering blood cholesterol and for modulation of blood glucose. There are two principal types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Most foods provide a mixture of both. One Square Meal contains 10 grams of dietary fibre in a serving, which is a third of the recommended daily intake for fibre. The ingredients contributing most of this fibre in One Square meal are dried apricots, acacia gum (a prebiotic soluble fibre) and oats which have the highest portion of soluble fibre of any grain.
 
Fats

Fat is the term that covers both liquid oils and solid fats. It is an important nutrient needed by everybody, containing essential fatty acids, carrying fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E and playing vital structural and functional roles in the body. Fat carries a food’s flavour components which helps to satisfy your appetite.

Dietary fat is a concentrated energy source compared to carbohydrate and protein (see energy definition). We need some fat to meet the functional and nutritional needs we have for it and we should also aim to balance the amount of energy we get from fat with the amount we get from carbohydrate and protein. The recommendation is that 30% of your energy should be derived from fat so the RDI is 70 grams of fat per day (based on an average diet of 8700kJ). To achieve this balance between the energy derived from each of the macronutrients, and to meet dietary needs for fat, One Square Meal was designed to deliver exactly one third of the recommended daily intake for this nutrient.

• Saturated Fats
Most people know that for heart health we do not want to overdo our intake of saturated fats. However it is not well known that saturated fats have important structural and functional roles in the body and elimination of them completely from the diet can cause bad health. Clearly we need to aim for a balance between how much of our dietary fat is saturated and how much is unsaturated. The recommended daily intake for saturated fat is 24g (based on deriving 10% of energy from saturated fats) so One Square Meal is designed to contain one third of this amount.

Trans Fats
Trans fatty acids (often shortened to trans fats) have been brought to the attention of the public because research has shown that of all the fats, trans fats have the most undesirable effect on blood cholesterol. They increase total blood cholesterol levels and the bad LDL cholesterol and decrease the good HDL cholesterol.

The main dietary source of trans fats that is of most concern is hydrogenated vegetables oils. These oils have been hydrogenated to convert them from liquid oils to solid fat but trans fats are produced in the process. Low levels of trans fats can occur naturally in meat and dairy products but this type does not appear to impact blood cholesterol levels in the way that the trans fats in hydrogenated oils do.For these reasons we have used vegetable oils free of trans fats (trans-free) in One Square Meal. It contains no hydrogenated vegetable oils and no trans fatty acids.

Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats, which contain monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, have important nutritional roles as well.

Some of the polyunsaturated fatty acids are classed as essential and are needed by the body for the part they play in many metabolic processes. These essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body from other fatty acids and must be obtained from food.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are able to lower undesirable LDL cholesterol as well as raise the protective HDL variety so they have a role in heart health.

Apart from total fat and saturated fat, there are no RDI figures specified for other types of fat for use as reference values to state % Daily Intake figures on labels in New Zealand. For this reason we have shown by weight how much polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat there is in One Square Meal but have ‘n/a’ (not available) in the %DI column of the Nutritional Information Panel on the pack.

BALANCE BY DESIGN APPLIED TO FATS

While there is no RDI’s for poly and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, the New Zealand Nutrition Taskforce has recommended the proportions of total energy that should be supplied by the different sources of fats.

Recognising the need for dietary fat, the unique roles of each type of fat and the need for balance between them, we designed One Square Meal to meet these recommended proportions. To achieve this balance of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats, we used a blend of non-hydrogenated, trans-free vegetable oils including rice bran oil which has the additional feature of being high in natural anti-oxidants.


MICRONUTRIENTS

A micronutrient is a nutrient, such as a vitamin or mineral, that is essential in minute amounts for your body to function normally. Micronutrients are necessary for health, nutrition and for using the food you digest, but they do not directly provide energy. While One Square Meal contains numerous vitamins, minerals and trace elements, we have quantified the 17 main vitamins and minerals present and have ensured that there is at least a third (33.3%) of the RDI for each of them with only one exception which is sodium. (22.2%).

See below for the important functions of these vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for healthy skin and the ability to see in poor light conditions.
Vitamin B1
Also know as thiamine, vitamin B1 is necessary for healing and maintaining the nervous system and for the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Vitamin B2
Also called riboflavin, vitamin B2 is required for metabolizing foods, manufacturing and repairing tissues, and maintaining healthy mucous membranes.
Niacin
Can be called vitamin B3, niacin belongs to the vitamin B complex and is necessary for the efficient functioning of the digestive and nervous systems. It also helps in metabolising foods.
Folate
Sometimes called vitamin B9, folate is important for maintaining the digestive and nervous systems and works with B12 in the formation of red blood cells and genetic material. It is necessary for decreased incidence of neural tube defects during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6
Also know as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is necessary for metabolising the amino acids in protein, for the formation of antibodies and red blood cells, and for maintaining a healthy digestive and nervous system.
Vitamin B12
This is necessary for maintaining the nervous system, red blood formation, cell division during growth, and the development of genetic material.
Vitamin C
Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is required for healthy skin, teeth, gums and blood vessels. Vitamin C assists in the absorption of iron and in healing wounds and broken bones.
Vitamin D
This is a fat-soluble vitamin which is required for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
Vitamin E
This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, it helps to protect body tissues and is important for the prevention of anemia.
Calcium
This is needed for the growth and development of healthy bones and teeth.
Iodine
Iodine is necessary for regulating the thyroid gland.
Magnesium
This is necessary for strong bones, the release of energy from food and the transmission of nerve impulses and muscular movements.
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is required for maintaining body functions, the production of energy, and with calcium and magnesium, the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
Zinc
This helps to develop a healthy immune system and is necessary for growth and development, including that of the reproductive system.
Iron
Iron is vital for the formation of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and is required for growth, energy production, metabolism and function of the liver and immune system.
Sodium
Sodium is a mineral (also called an electrolyte, along with potassium) that is essential to the maintenance of fluid balance, nerve transmissions, and muscle contractions in the body. In the standardised format of the nutrition information panel (NIP), sodium is normally grouped with the macronutrients so for ease of reference we have left it in this position. The RDI for sodium is 2300mg, however, for health benefits, many New Zealanders are trying to reduce their overall sodium intake. While we have designed One Square Meal to have a third (33.3%) of the RDI for most of the key nutrients, we have included sodium at only 22.2% which supports this health goal.


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