Label Reading (caveat emptor ---buyer beware)
Judging a food by its Cover……
In order to master the art of weight control, you need to be confident about using labels
to choose healthier foods. Here’s some basic “lean” guidelines. Start by looking at the
SERVING SIZE. This tells you a normal portion for this food. It’s also the basis for all of
the information on the label. All the information on the label pertains to the specified
serving size, including calories, grams of fat, etc…
As you can see in this Macaroni and Cheese box, there are two servings for this box.
So, if you eat the whole box you didn’t just consume 250 calories-you ate 500! Beware
of the Servings Per Container.
Another important label fact that we look at is the CALORIES FROM FAT column. This
will help you decipher the amount of fat a product has. Without being too complicated,
we always follow this standard rule of thumb: For every 100 Calories –you want only 3
TOTAL FAT GRAMS.
Remember, there’s 9 calories per one gram of fat. So, if we have 3 grams in a product
that’s 27 calories from fat. And if we know that the product has approximately 100
calories –than it’s 27 % fat (100 divided by 27) also, keep in mind that unsaturated fats
are healthier than saturated fats and trans fats. You want to keep your amount of
SATURATED FAT at one-third your total fats or 10 percent.
Next look at the FIBER column. Foods that are usually high in ﬁber include fruits,
vegetables, and whole grain products. And reading food labels can help you to choose
foods that are high in ﬁber. A food high in ﬁber, like a can of vegetable soup, might have
4 or 5 grams of ﬁber per serving.
— Jaime Brenkus Health Tip 8