Reading nutrition labels is a great way to understand what we’re eating and to make informed decisions about the food we purchase.
It can also help fill in any gaps we may have by providing us with important information such as serving size and calories and the number of nutrients like fat, sugar, and carbohydrates that are included.
Nutrition labels can be tough to decipher, but here are the best 10 tips on how to read them!
#1 Serving Size
When you’re at the grocery store picking out food, it can be tricky to figure out what to buy. Your general rule of thumb is to go for fresh whole foods that lack preservatives or additives, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if an item is truly healthy.
One way you can make the decision easier is by reading the nutrition label. Your best bet is to look for the serving size on the label.
A lot of items are listed like a “cup of rice,” but this doesn’t tell you how much rice you should be eating in a day. Instead, look for the serving size like “1 cup” and make sure that’s what you’re buying.
Foods that are smaller than a serving are also listed as single servings. To figure out what this means, just multiply the serving size by ten. For instance, if the serving size is one cup, then ten servings equal one hundred.
What is the number one thing you look at on a nutrition label? Calories. When it comes to calories, people want to know if they are getting enough or too many. Some people think that products that are low in calories will help them lose weight.
However, calories are just part of the equation when it comes to weight management. We are all different and have different metabolisms. Not all calories are the same, as we know. For example, some people metabolize calories much faster than others. They burn calories more quickly than they consume them.
#3 Percent Daily Value
An RD or RDN can be a source of nutrition information for those struggling to understand the nuances of the latest dietary guidelines.
Everyone knows that reading a nutrition label is crucial to making healthy dietary decisions. In fact, studies show that people who read nutrition labels are more likely to make healthier choices overall.
Knowing what the different numbers on a food label mean can help you make better, more educated decisions when purchasing food.
Nowadays experts recommend that we take the time to read the nutrition facts and ingredients on food and beverage labels, not just for products we want to avoid but for everything we’re consuming.
The more we know about how much fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and other nutrients are in our foods, the better chance we have of making healthier choices.
In a nutshell, if we can see very clearly the percentage of fat, carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients in a food or beverage, then we can make better choices.
Americans consume a lot of cholesterol in their diet. Cholesterol is a vital component to our cells and plays an important role in the structure of the cell membrane, helps produce vitamin D, and converts sunlight into vitamin D.
However, too much cholesterol can be problematic for the body. In fact, excess dietary cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. In order to avoid these consequences, it’s important to know how to read a nutrition label.
Nutrition labels may appear complicated and confusing, but they’re not all that bad. With a little time and practice, it’s easy to learn how to read the nutrition label on food.
Human beings need sodium to live and be healthy. Sodium is a mineral that helps regulate fluid balance in the body and helps maintain blood pressure levels.
The sodium level in the body is regulated by hormones and other factors, not just by how much salt we eat or drink. Sodium is found naturally in foods such as celery, tomato sauce, potatoes, and other vegetables.
The label on food that says “no added sodium” does not mean there is no sodium in the food. It just means that the food didn’t add sodium to the food.
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found in food. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to know which carbohydrates to choose and which ones to avoid.
A product’s nutrition label can help you identify those carbs that have a higher percentage of calories from sugar and those that have a lower percentage.
The health benefits of a high-fiber diet are undeniable. It has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, improve blood sugar, and weight management. Fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
A person would need to consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day to reap all the potential benefits.
Within the last decade, Americans have become increasingly aware of the risks of added sugars. As a result, many are cutting back on their sugar intake. With that being said, it is important that people have an understanding of sugars on nutrition labels so they can more effectively cut back.
- To quickly identify sugars on a nutrition label, simply look for the word “sugars” listed under total carbohydrates. Many people confuse the word “sugar” with the word “carbohydrate” and think that the carbohydrate will have the word “sugar” in it, but this is not the case.
- Foods that list the word “sugar” on their nutrition labels will have “sugars” listed not just once, but several times. This is in addition to them also having “total carbohydrate,” “fiber,” and “sugar alcohol.
- The count for “sugars” can range from a single unit (1g of sugar) up to a value of “17.5g of sugars.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients in our diet. Protein provides the amino acids that are necessary for maintaining muscle, cartilage, skin, and other tissues. It also helps to build and repair tissue.
A single serving of protein can be between 15-35 grams, depending on age and activity level. Read nutrition labels carefully to understand what they are telling you about the food’s nutritional profile.
In conclusion, it is important to read a nutrition label before making a food selection. There are many tricks and tips on how to read the nutrition label, so take some time to learn more about them.
Hopefully, after reading this article you have gained knowledge on the importance of reading a nutrition label. The next time you go shopping for groceries, take some extra time to find out more about these tricks and tips that will help in your food selections.