Reading a Food Label @weightwatchers

Posted: June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
Food packaging has all sorts of marketing-related claims, including “lite,” “reduced fat” and dozens of others. Some of these claims can be misleading. Whole milk, for example, is 96% fat free… but it still gets 50% of its calories from fat. Even 2% “low fat” milk gets 38% of its calories from fat!

Fortunately, you can get the real data on the food you buy from the nutrition label. By law, most packaged food items in the grocery store must have a label with all the nutrition information printed right on it. Here are some important points to remember when you read nutrition labels:

  1. Serving Size: It’s the first line of the label, and the most important, because all the nutrition facts listed are based on it. Be careful, because some packaged foods contain more than 1 serving. So compare the portion you’re eating with the serving size and adjust your calories and fat accordingly. A serving size for this product is 1 package (13g).
  2. Total Fat: This is the amount of fat, in grams, included per serving. Remember that your overall daily diet should contain approximately 30% of calories from fat. This product contains 1g of fat.
  3. Important Nutrients: These include saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate and protein. Check this information if your doctor has instructed you to limit any of these.
  4. Daily Values Footnote: This reflects the current nutrition recommendations for both 2000- and 2500-calorie diets. For example, the daily value for fat is 65g for 2000 calories and 80g for 2500 calories. These examples are probably higher than your target calories and fat-gram daily totals as prescribed by your doctor.
  5. Servings per Container: This refers to the number of servings included in the package. This package contains 6 servings. Remember, nutritional information is calculated per serving, and it is very easy to underestimate serving size.
  6. Calories and Calories from Fat: Calories is the total number of calories you will consume in 1 serving. There are 50 calories in this product. Calories from fat reflects the number of fat calories the product provides per serving, not the percentage of calories from fat. This product has 10 fat calories.
  7. % Daily Value: This will help you see how a food fits into a 2000-calorie reference diet. They tell you how much of a nutrient the food contains. One package of this product contains 2% of the daily value for fat, which is relatively low.
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