How often do you read food nutrition labels? And when you read them, do you understand what they mean? Those who have food allergies are very aware of reading labels for ingredients, however we can all benefit by knowing what we're about to put into our bodies! Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is a great way to end up with healthier choices in your cart, but knowing how to read the labels for prepackaged food can help with good choices in the middle of the store as well. Let's face it, we're probably not going to live on ALL fresh fruits and veggies, so knowledge is power when it comes to all the other food options! Here's a helpful resource provided by The American Heart Association to give you an understanding of how to make healthier choices at the grocery store...
The Nutrition Facts label can help you make healthier choices. Use it! Here’s what to look for:
Start with serving information. This will tell you the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package.
Check total calories. Do the math to know how many calories you’re really getting if you eat the whole package.
Limit certain nutrients. Compare labels and choose options with lower amounts of added sugars, sodium, saturated fat and trans fat when possible.
Get enough of beneficial nutrients. Eat foods with nutrients your body needs like calcium, choline, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins A, C, D, and E.
% Daily Value.The % Daily Value (DV) tells you the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving in terms of the daily recommended amount.To consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV (5% or less)To consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), choose foods with a higher % DV – 20% or more.To consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber or potassium), choose foods with a higher % DV (20% or more).
For more tips and tricks on eating smart, visit heart.org/EatSmart
Visit heart.org/EatSmart for more helpful ways to make healthy choices and yummy recipes too!