LIVING  TO  THRIVE AND LEARNING TO STRIVE.

Master Personal Trainer                         

NUTRITION LABELS:

READ THEM // INTERPRET.  EVALUATE.  ELIMINATE.

 
Serving Size // Servings Per Container

This is the first thing you should check.

The calories and nutrients on the label are for one serving of the product, but there are three servings in total. 

If you eat more or less than the recommended serving, the total calories and nutrient amounts will change.

Calories

Calories are energy your body gets from food and burns through activity.

Consuming more calories than you burn can lead to weight gain.

Burning more calories than you eat and drink can lead to weight loss.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, all calories count, no matter what food or beverages they come from.


Take note that for a 2,000-calorie diet:

40 calories per serving is considered low
100 calories per serving is considered moderate
400 calories or more per serving is considered high

Total fat

Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat. 

Saturated fat

Saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. The average adult should consume no more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.

Trans fat

Trans fat also increases your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should get 0 grams of trans fat per day. Trans fat is usually found in commercially prepared baked goods, fried foods, snack foods and margarine.

Cholesterol

This is a fatlike chemical that's an essential component of cell membranes, a covering for nerve-cell fibers, and a building block of hormones. Only animal products contain cholesterol, but our body makes cholesterol in the liver. Adults are advised to limit their daily intake to 300 milligrams. Too much can elevate your blood cholesterol, raising your heart-disease risk.


Sodium

The recommended daily limit for an average adult is 2,300 milligrams; too much sodium can cause high blood pressure.  Most prepackaged products have an over abundance of sodium.

Carbohydrates

Total carbohydrate on the label includes all types of carbohydrate: fiber, sugars and complex carbohydrates.

Healthy sources, like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve digestive functioning.

Whole grain foods can’t always be identified by color or name, such as multi-grain or wheat.  Some products that trumpet their whole grain credentials use caramel to mimic the brown color that results from the use of whole grains.  Look for the “whole” grain listed first in the ingredient list, such as whole wheat, brown rice, or whole oats.

Dietary Fiber

The average adult should eat between 21 and 35 grams of fiber daily, but most don't reach that level. When buying bread or cereal, look for a brand with 3 grams or more per serving.
 
Sugars

"Simple sugars" like processed sugar added to snacks and candies should be eaten in very small amounts, because they contain non nutritive calories and don't offer a lot of good things to your body.

Limit foods with added sugars, which add calories but not other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.  Make sure that added sugars are not one of the first seven ingredients.


Proteins

Most Americans get plenty of protein, but not always from the healthiest sources.  When choosing a food for its protein content, such as meat, poultry, dry beans, milk and milk products, make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat free. 

Protein is important to your body, especially the muscles, and provides energy. 5%-15% of your daily calories should come from protein

Percent Daily Value (%DV)


Percent Daily Value is calculated for a moderately active woman, or a fairly sedentary man, who eats 2,000 calories a day.

A food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat.  Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack.  You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day.