In the previous “How-To-Read the Nutrition Label: Part I” post, we dissected what to look for when you’re checking out the nutrition facts for the food we consume. The Nutrition Label example we used was a basic Macaroni and Cheese/ Kraft Dinner box. Nutrition facts should be an essential part of your decision in what to eat or even what to buy… But interpreting the facts requires a bit of know-how, so make sure you aren’t misleading yourself.
In the previous “How-To-Read the Nutrition Label: Part I” post, we learned about to 5%/20% rule in determining if the food has a low or high amount of the ever important nutrients our body needs to function properly. Today is the “Cliff Note Day” of how to quickly interpret the Nutrition Label.
Quick Interpretation Guide
- Start at the top with Serving Size and Servings Per Container. Adjust all measurements below this point according to the serving size you will eat.
- Look at the number of calories per serving (including how many calories are from fat).
- Limit these nutrients: total fat (including saturated and trans fat), cholesterol, and sodium.
- Get plenty of these nutrients: fiber, vitamins, calcium, and iron
- Use the % Daily Value to determine what is a high or low number for your daily diet. 5% or less is low; 20% or more is high.
Don’t just use the nutrition facts to track the nutrients you want to cut back on. Use it to track the nutrients you want to increase (like fiber, calcium and vitamins)! Whether you’re a stickler for tracking every fat gram and calorie per day or someone who just wants a rough estimate of her daily nutrient intake, the nutrition facts label is a handy tool. Learn how to use it for foods you eat frequently and anything new that you are tempted to incorporate into your regular meal plan.
As Rebecca King said in her post, “Alright Folks… Let’s Talk Intensity”:
“Want to guess what calories are? Calories = energy
And the big “secret” of weight loss? Using more Calories in a day than you’re eating in a day.”
Know what you’re eating and you will have control of your lifestyle. Like an engine for a car, if you put bad gas/ oil in your car, you will have poor performance. When you put in good gas/ oil in your car, the engine’s performance will be improved.