How to Read a Nutrition Label

Nutrition labels can be downright confusing. What does all of that information even mean? What should I be focusing on? How does this relate to my diet as a whole? And what does it tell me about the quality of the food I am eating?
In today’s video, I chat a bit about what I look at when reading nutrition labels, in hopes that it will be helpful for you during your next trip to the grocery store!
In case you can’t get the video to play, here is a quick recap:
  1. First, take a look at the ingredient list. Count the number of ingredients. A good goal here is to buy products that only have about 5 ingredients or less listed. If you see any ingredients that you do not know or cannot pronounce, google them quick to see what they do. Most likely they are added chemicals and manufactured products that you do not need.
  2. Note the serving size. It is always good to know your serving size – sometimes it is much smaller than you think!
  3. Then take a peak at the sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that, as a woman, you take in less than 25 grams of added sugar a day. Take a look – How does that match up with your own diet?
  4. And the fat. Does it have any trans fats? If so, buyer beware. Trans fats are manufactured, and rarely occur naturally. They also clog your arteries. Yikes! Your goal here? 0 grams of trans fats in a day – zero. zilch. nada. Saturated fats on the other hand (fats that occur in meat, cheese and dairy) should be limited to under 10% of your total caloric intake for the day. Note: the AHA actually recommends even less than that!
  5. Finally, the sodium. The AHA recommends that Americans get less than 2,300 mg per day  (about 1 tsp) with a more ideal limit of no more than 1500 mg per day (in the video I said 1300 – whoops). On average, Americans actually take in about 3,400 mg per day.

These are obviously recommendations based on my own diet and beliefs. You may agree or disagree – either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Don’t be shy. I’d love to know any questions you may have, too!


Zoe Lauryn

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