Checking The Labels

Eating healthy means cutting down on fat (saturated fat especially), salt and added sugars.  Now that doesn't mean you won't be eating them anymore, the key really is moderation.  It's alright to have the food occasionally, but do keep an eye on how often you choose these foods and have them in smaller amounts.  Check food labels when buying them, this will tell you when the food is high in something.  Here are some of the things you should look for when checking the labels.

WHOLE GRAINS:  Make sure the label says "whole" in the ingredient list before grains like wheat.  And look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

FATS:  The nutrient list should say "0 trans fat," the fat that raises the risk for heart disease.  Check the ingredient list as well for partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats, also forms of trans fat.  A food-nutrient list can say it has no trans fat if there's less than 0.5 grams per serving.

SUGARS:  Aside from dairy products, aim for less than 10 grams per serving, the lower the better.  The exception:  Milk has 12 grams of natural sugar, or lactose, in every 8-ounce glass.

SODIUM:  You're after no more that 480 milligrams per serving.
Confused on the "sell-by" and"use-by" dates on the labels?  Both indicate when a product will no longer have tiptop taste, which is seven to ten days from packaging for dairy products(unless they're organic) and about three days for meats.  Actual spoilage comes later.  But when in doubt, always throw it out.



Joanne Olivieri said…
These are all great tips. I always read labels but have to admit that it can be confusing at times. I think you are right though, everything in moderation is the key.
Christy said…
Checking the labels. My husband and I have been doing that because our oldest son's doctor wants to remove fructose from his diet. We're trying to figure out what the malabsorption issue is with his body. Fructose, yeah, it's in a lot!
Russ said…
I love your tips. But is so hard to weed it all out. If you get rid of one thing it has something else. It is a crazy world.