How to Read a Food Label

Want to shed pounds for good?  You’ve got to watch what you eat. Research has shown that people who read nutrition labels are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. But deciphering the labels isn’t always easy. Just because a package says “healthy” or “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s good for you, or will help your weight-loss efforts. Here’s what to look for when you’re reading a food label.
SERVING SIZE: Read this first. Even some foods that look like a single serving are actually two servings.
FAT: Total fat should be no more than 30 percent of total calories.
SODIUM: Aim for less than 200 milligrams per serving.
FIBER: Aim for 25 to 30 grams fiber per day.
SATURATED FAT: Less than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat. Aim for no more than 7 percent.
TRANS FAT: Try to avoid them completely. Or keep total consumption below 2 grams/day.
INGREDIENTS: Listed in descending order by weight. If the ingredient is toward the beginning of the list, the product contains a large amount of it. If the ingredient is toward the end, the product contains only a small amount.
ALL NATURAL: Minimally processed and contains no artificial colors or ingredients, but may still be high in sodium, fat, and salt.
REDUCED FAT: Contains at least 25 percent less fat/serving than original version. Watch for added sugar, which can boost the calories.
LOW SATURATED FAT: Contains 1 g or less per serving.
LOW FAT: Contains 3 g fat or less/serving.
LOW CHOLESTEROL: Contains 20 mg of cholesterol or less/serving and 2 g or less of saturated fat.
LIGHT: No standard definition. Often means lower fat and calories than similar products.
LOW CALORIE: 40 calories or less per serving.
REDUCED SODIUM: At least 25 percent less sodium than original version.
VERY LOW SODIUM: 35 mg of sodium or less/serving.
REDUCED SUGAR: At least 25 percent less sugar than the original version.
LOW SUGAR: No standard definition.
NO SUGAR ADDED: Contains no table sugar, but may be other added sugars or sweeteners like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar/day for women and 37g for men.
SUGAR FREE: Contains less than 0.5g sugar/serving.
RDA: Recommended daily amounts of various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for healthy adults.

How to Read a Food Label

Want to shed pounds for good?  You’ve got to watch what you eat. Research has shown that people who read nutrition labels are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. But deciphering the labels isn’t always easy. Just because a package says “healthy” or “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s good for you, or will help your weight-loss efforts. Here’s what to look for when you’re reading a food label.

SERVING SIZE: Read this first. Even some foods that look like a single serving are actually two servings.

FAT: Total fat should be no more than 30 percent of total calories.

SODIUM: Aim for less than 200 milligrams per serving.

FIBER: Aim for 25 to 30 grams fiber per day.

SATURATED FAT: Less than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat. Aim for no more than 7 percent.

TRANS FAT: Try to avoid them completely. Or keep total consumption below 2 grams/day.

INGREDIENTS: Listed in descending order by weight. If the ingredient is toward the beginning of the list, the product contains a large amount of it. If the ingredient is toward the end, the product contains only a small amount.

ALL NATURAL: Minimally processed and contains no artificial colors or ingredients, but may still be high in sodium, fat, and salt.

REDUCED FAT: Contains at least 25 percent less fat/serving than original version. Watch for added sugar, which can boost the calories.

LOW SATURATED FAT: Contains 1 g or less per serving.

LOW FAT: Contains 3 g fat or less/serving.

LOW CHOLESTEROL: Contains 20 mg of cholesterol or less/serving and 2 g or less of saturated fat.

LIGHT: No standard definition. Often means lower fat and calories than similar products.

LOW CALORIE: 40 calories or less per serving.

REDUCED SODIUM: At least 25 percent less sodium than original version.

VERY LOW SODIUM: 35 mg of sodium or less/serving.

REDUCED SUGAR: At least 25 percent less sugar than the original version.

LOW SUGAR: No standard definition.

NO SUGAR ADDED: Contains no table sugar, but may be other added sugars or sweeteners like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar/day for women and 37g for men.

SUGAR FREE: Contains less than 0.5g sugar/serving.

RDA: Recommended daily amounts of various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for healthy adults.

(Source: runnersworld.com)

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