Five Things to Remember when Reading Nutrition Labels

Woman Reading Food Labe

Servings Per Container:

  • This means how many servings are in the entire container. So you must look at the serving size. Nutrition Facts Servings
  • The serving size for this product is 2/3 cup. There are eight 2/3 cup servings in this container.
  • Each 2/3 cup serving contains 230 calories.
  • The remainder of the nutrition information is regarding that 2/3 cup portion.
  • Remember, if you have more than one serving, you have to double, triple, etc. these amounts.

Fat Content:

Nutrition Facts Fat

  • Saturated fat and Trans fats can increase cholesterol levels.
  • Trans fats are particularly bad because they can reduce good cholesterol
  • Avoid trans fats at all costs. This number should always be zero.
  • Saturated fats are found commonly in food items. Aim for less than 7%.
  • Other fats you will find on food labels include poly/monounsaturated fats.
  • Unsaturated fats are healthy fats and need not be limited.

 

 

 

Sodium (salt):

  • It is recommended to keep sodium intake within 2,300 mg per day.Nutrition Facts Sodium
  • For an entire meal, 600 mg or less is recommended.
  • Too much sodium can increase blood pressure.
  • The food item listed contains 160 mg per 2/3 cup.
  • However the entire package (8 servings) contains 160 mg x 8 = 1,280 mg.

 

Total Carbs:

  • Nutrition Facts CarbsTotal Carbs include: Fiber + Sugar + Added Sugar + Sugar Alcohols (not shown).
  • Recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams (women) and 38 grams (men).
  • Tip: healthy food options typically contain more fiber than sugar.
  • Some foods contain sugars naturally which is OK (grains, fruit, dairy).
  • Limit added sugars (as close to zero as possible).

 

 

 

Protein:

  • Foods containing higher amounts of protein keep you full for longer.Nutrition Facts Protein
  • Healthy protein options: fish, turkey, chicken, eggs, and tofu.
  • Whole grain and dairy food options are also good sources of protein.

When you read a nutrition label, what do you focus on?

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Vishal Shah

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