Knowing how to read food labels and understand marketing terms can help you be successful in making good food choices. Here is how to figure them out:
Read the nutrition label on the back: Don’t focus on the claims on the front of the box, many of them can be misleading. For example, “reduced fat” which means 25% less fat than the original, sometimes is a big savings and sometimes it is not. If regular salad dressing contains 8 grams of fat then reduced fat would be 6 grams of fat, not a huge savings especially if they replace the fat with sugar. Read labels carefully. Here is info from the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics on what claims mean:
· Low Calorie — Less than 40 calories per serving.
• Low cholesterol — Less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per serving.
• Reduced — 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product.
• Good source of — Provides at least 10% of the DV of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving.
• Calorie free — Less than 5 calories per serving.
• Fat free / sugar free — Less than 1⁄2 gram of fat or sugar per serving.
• Low sodium — Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.
• High in — Provides 20% or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving.
• High fiber — 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
For more information on how to read labels follow this link:
Serving Size: Many drinks or small packaged snacks such as chips often contain more than one portion (see number of servings at the top of nutrition facts label). Therefore, if the label says“100 calories”, and it contains 2.5 servings it really has 250 calories if you eat/drink all of it, because calories listed are PER SERVING. Check your serving sizes on the label. See the link below for an example:
Please let me know if you have questions!!