7 Facts about Food Labels

EVENT: Health Coaching Group Sessions- Label Reading and Healthy Snacks
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesday at 4:30pm on April 4, 2017 
            Reading food labels is key to becoming a smart shopper and advancing your health and nutrition goals.  If all the information on food labels seems overwhelming, here are a few tips and tricks to simplify food choices.  With our easy breakdown, you will be a pro at reading food labels and getting the most out of your grocery store trip before you know it!
1.      Start with Serving Size and Servings Per Container:  At the very top of the nutrition facts is information about serving size and the servings in a container.  This information is crucial as the label lists nutrition facts per serving.  If the serving size is one cup and you eat two, just remember to double all the nutrition facts.
2.      Check out Total Calories: Calories certainly are not everything when it comes to a healthy diet, but knowing the amount of calories in a serving size is a good place to start.
3.      Percent Daily Values: These daily values are average levels of nutrition for a person eating 2,000 calories a day.  The percent DV is for the whole day, not for a single meal or snack.  Also, if your caloric needs or greater or less than 2,000 calories a day, you will need to take that into account.
4.      What to Limit: Try to eat less of saturated fats, trans fats, sodium and added sugars.  Look for foods that are naturally low in these, as eating less of there may help reduce your risk for heart disease high blood pressure and cancer. 
5.      What to Include: Get enough dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium and potassium to maintain good health.  Aim for a high percent DV of these, and look for foods that naturally high in these nutrients.  Fruits and vegetables are a good source of naturally occurring dietary fiber and other necessary nutrients.
6.      Understand the Ingredient List: Foods with more than one ingredient must have a list of ingredients on the label.  Ingredients are listed by weight, with the largest amount listed first.  Knowing this will help you to see past exaggerated claims manufacturers often make about their products.
7.      Skip the Advertisements.  Manufacturers have endless tricks designed to make consumers believe the foods they are buying are healthy.  Watch out for claims like “low calorie”, “low in fat” and “low sodium”.  Those cookies with over 40 ingredients may be low in fat, but that does not mean they are healthier than an avocado.  Go straight to the food label and skip the sales pitch!
Use these 7 tips and tricks to become and smart, fearless shopper.  If you would like even more information, consider meeting with our registered dietitian.  We can even take you on a grocery store tour to implement your new label reading skills! 
Come Check out our Nutrition Workshop on Label Reading and Healthy Snacks on Tuesday, April 4 at 4:30pm!!
Andrea Berez MS, RD, CSP
Kara Unal JD, RYT
KareBoost Health