Are you an expert at reading nutrition labels? If you deal with managing health conditions like me, it has become very important to understand what is in your food. First, I always read the ingredient list to make sure it contains nothing that triggers my Crohn’s Disease. Second, I check out the nutrition label. Here are tips on how to read it.
It’s important to always check the serving size. Sometimes what you think is a single serve portion may actually have more than one serving, like this label for chicken noodle soup. If you are unsure how much a serving size is, you can use an actual measuring cup and then put the food into your bowl or plate that you normally eat off so you can see what a serving size looks like.
It is important to understand not only how many calories are in the food, but how many calories from fat. For example this soup contains 60 calories per serving, and 15 of those are from fat, so that means that this food is 25% fat. It’s important to understand these, especially when you are eating more than one serving. Generally, anything over 400 calories is considered high in calories.
These nutrients include fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Watch fat content. Check the ingredient list to see if it is good fat or bad fat. When you are checking the fat content, especially watch for saturated fat and worst of all is trans fats. Consuming too many of these nutrients can contribute to chronic diseases. Keep your intake of these as low as possible.
Most Americans don’t get enough of dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Getting enough of these nutrients helps your body function properly. Fiber helps your digestive system keep regular. Vitamins and minerals serve a host of different functions within your body.
These percentages are based off of a 2,000 calorie a day diet. For example, there is not a lot of fat in this soup, so you are only eating about 2% of your daily value of fat, but this soup is quite high in sodium, so only one serving contains over a third (37%) of your daily value of sodium! The percent daily value does some of the math for you, so it’s easier for you to understand the nutrition label!
Next time you go grocery shopping, check out the nutrition labels on the foods you buy. If you would like more help on understanding how to make healthy food decisions, contact me today for a Free, No-obligation Nutrition Discovery Session!
I am a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health Coach located in Charlotte, NC. I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Wellness Management. I have a passion for health and for helping others achieve the healthy life they desire.