Vicki's Blog

  • 6 Ways To Read a Food Label

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A lot of people look at food labels for different reasons. But whatever the reason may be, a lot of consumers don't know how to use this information more effectively and easily.

     

    Food labels are intended to make it easier for us to read the nutritional facts on a product, however, we still get lost in the numbers and different sections in search of what can contribute to a healthy diet.

     

    1. Start with the serving size. 

     Serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to compare similar foods; they are provided in familiar units, such as cups or pieces, followed by the metric amount, e.g., the number of grams.

     

    2. Check the calories

    -  Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of this food. Many Americans consume more calories than they need without meeting recommended intakes for a number of nutrients. The calorie section of the label can help you manage your weight ( gain, lose, or maintain.) Remember: the number of servings you consume determines the number of calories you actually eat (your portion amount).

     

    3. Limit the total fats, saturated fats and trans fats along with cholesterol and sodium. 

    Look at the top of the nutrient section in the sample label. It shows you some key nutrients that impact on your health and separates them into two main groups.

     

    4. Make sure to get enough of the vitamins and nutrients you can. 

    -Most Americans don't get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron in their diets. 

     

    5. Always read and check the footnotes.

    -Note the * used after the heading "%Daily Value" on the Nutrition Facts label. It refers to the Footnote in the lower part of the nutrition label, which tells you "%DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet".

     

    6. And the daily value percentage is important. In terms of Total fats 5% or less is low and 20% or more is high.

    -The % Daily Values (%DVs) are based on the Daily Value recommendations for key nutrients but only for a 2,000 calorie daily diet--not 2,500 calories. You, like most people, may not know how many calories you consume in a day. But you can still use the %DV as a frame of reference whether or not you consume more or less than 2,000 calories. The %DV helps you determine if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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