Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food Labels Demystified

Food Labels Demystified

Serving Size:

The serving size is usually less than most people eat.  If you eat, two servings make sure you double the calories and all of the other daily values.  When comparing foods, make sure the serving sizes are the same.


This list the total amount of fat in one serving.  Try to limit the amount of saturated fat and trans fat you eat.


Try to eat less than 300 mg each day.


Try to eat less than 2400 mg of sodium each day.


This helps give you energy.  It is found in bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.  Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, peas, and beans.  Try to eat at least 20 to 35 g of fiber per day.


Protein helps build muscle.  It is found in meat, nuts, eggs fish, dry beans, and dairy products.  Try to eat lean cuts of meat and nonfat or low-fat dairy products.


Calories are the measure of how much energy you get from a serving of food.  Calories not used for energy are stored as fat Watching the number of calories in your daily diet can help you manage your weight.

% Daily Value: 

This shows how much of the daily recommended amounts of these nutrients are in one serving (based on a 2,00 calorie diet.  These percentages make it easy to compare one brand with another.  Just make sure the serving size is the same.  The goal is to eat no more than 100% of each nutrient each day.

Vitamins and Minerals: 

This shows how much of the recommended amount of certain vitamins and minerals are in the food.  Your goal is to reach 100% for each vitamin and mineral every day.

Recommended Amounts: 

Here you can see the recommended daily amount for several nutrients for 2-calorie levels.  A 2000-calorie and a 2500-calorie daily diet.  Your recommended daily calories may be higher of lower, depending on your age, gender, and how active you are.  However, notice that the recommended amount of sodium and cholesterol are the same no matter how man calories you eat a day.

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