Posted by / Monday, March 9, 2015 / No comments / , , ,

Reading Food Labels For Healthy Choices

Person reading food labels.
The skill of reading food labels and understanding what they mean is an important aspect of healthy grocery shopping. Make sure you’re keeping the nutrition of your family a priority by learning what to look for in a food label.

Serving Size

When reading food labels, remember that the serving size is a measurement of how much of the food is recommended for one person to consume. It’s important to take a look at this number and compare it to how much you eat. If the serving size is one cup, and you are eating two cups, then the nutritional values need to be doubled when you are reading the food labels. If you are reading a label, look for the serving size indication at the top, left-hand side of the label.

Percent Daily Value

The percent daily value that you see when reading a food label is the approximate amount of the nutrient that you will receive from a serving size. This number is based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so it is skewed if you are eating more than or less than a 2,000 calorie diet. It’s also important to note that the number will need to be adjusted if you are eating more or less than the serving size. When reading a label, the percent daily value is usually the number listed down the right-hand side of the label.

Higher is Better

Naturally, you want the most nutrition for your family. When reading food labels, look for high numbers in the healthier elements of the label. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard on anything, but find a healthy balance.

Things that are better for your health that you will find on the food labels are fiber, all vitamins, all minerals, calcium, iron, and protein.

Lower is Better

On the flip side, there are a few things to be wary of when reading food labels. Certain types of fat and added ingredients can be unhealthy and add risks to your health.

Things that can have added risks with excess intake are saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugar. Be sure to take a look at them when reading food labels.

I hope you learned a little something about reading food labels with this information. What are some foods you like to buy because of their nutritional values?

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