Daily Archives: March 19, 2013

Small change #6 – learn how to read a food label

Sure you look at these once in a while, but do you understand what you’re looking for?

Take a minute and have a look at this, from the FDA, which is a launch page.  Here is the actual food label guide.

For every 4 g of “sugars” there is the equivalent of 1 tsp of sugar in the product.  If the product contains fruit or dried fruit, some of this total will come from the fruit, but if there is not fruit, it’s likely just from added sugar.

The DV — the % on the label, does NOT tell you the percentage of fat, sodium, etc. in the product.  It tells the percentage of fat it contributes to the overall diet of a person eating 2,000 calories.  I know.  So just learn the 5 and 20 rule: If the % is 5 or less, it’s low in the nutrient — this can be good if it’s fat or sodium or cholesterol — and if it’s over 20% it’s an excellent source.  Most canned soups come in at about 18% DV for sodium — a bit high, right?  The 5/20 rule will help you decide quickly what’s up.

Look at the ingredients.  They are sorted by weight.  If sugar or fat are at the top, don’t eat too much of this product.

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