Read Labels, Stay Healthy

It’s a good idea to fill your cart with low-calorie, low-sodium and low-fat items, but with so much information on the label, it’s hard to know what to look for. Make healthier choices by learning how to read and understand the Nutrition Facts.

Start Here: Check the serving size and find out how many servings are in the package.

Check total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you’re really consuming. Remember if you double the servings you eat, you double your calories and nutrients.

Limit these nutrients. Limit your total fat to no more than 56 – 78 grams a day. That’s no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat and less than 300 mg cholesterol.

Get enough of these nutrients. Make sure you get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you need every day.

Quick guide to % DV. This is the percent of each nutrient in a single serving in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient, like saturated fat and cholesterol, choose foods with a lower % DV – 5 percent or less is low. If you want to consume more of a nutrient, like fiber, seek foods with a higher % DV – 20 percent or more is high.

*Remember that the information on these panels is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more depending on your age, gender and activity level, and whether you’re trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Find out your personal daily limits on My Fats Translator.

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