For those who are trying to lose weight, limit the amount of sugars they are taking in, or watching out for the fat content because of cholesterol levels, looking at the nutrition data on the foods they are purchasing and planning on consuming is critical. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to correctly read and decipher this nutrition data, so despite their best efforts they are stuck eating foods that are still not that healthy for them.
The first thing that you should look at when you are reading this data is the serving size. Often Americans will assume they are only eating so many calories because they do not read the serving size. If the serving size is 10 chips and you eat 20, you are getting twice the nutrients that you think.
The serving size is going to be listed on the top of the nutrition data and it will state the serving size as well as how many servings are in the container. Often this is the part that is going to surprise dieters the most because they were not prepared for the wide difference between what they thought they were eating and what they are actually eating.
Your food label is then going to go on and talk about the calories that you are consuming as well as the calories you will get from fat in the product. The amount of servings you have with this will determine the exact amount of calories you are taking in. It is important to look at the calories because they will help you determine how much energy you are taking in and this can be critical for weight loss. A good rule of thumb when it comes to calories in your food includes:
· 40 calories are considered low
· 100 or so calories will be considered moderate
· 400+ calories will be considered high
Next, the nutrients are going to be listed on the nutrition data. The first couple of things on the label – total fat, sodium, and cholesterol – will need to be limited as much as possible. You do need some of these nutrients, but most Americans take in more than they really should and they deal with high blood pressure, cancer, and even heart disease. The bottom of the nutrition data is going to have some more nutrients that you should attempt to get more of each day. These would include the proteins, the vitamins and minerals, and the dietary fibers. These can help give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and prevent diseases.
As you can see, the nutritional label of your food is not hard to read as long as you know where everything is and what it all means. Now you can use this information to pick out the right foods at the store and stay as healthy as you can!