Understanding food labels is so important because the more you understand what you are putting in your body, the faster you can lose weight. Here are the basics:

1. Serving Size: Start off by looking at the serving size. It can be SO easy to ignore the serving size and just look at the calories and assume you are only eating say 150 calories. A good way to control the amount you eat is to NOT eat from the bag or container. Instead, pour out the serving size and put away the large bag/container. 

2. Limit the Next Section: When it comes to saturated fat, trans fat and sodium, LIMIT them as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 11-13 grams of saturated fat and the lowest amount of trans fat as possible. For sodium, 1,500 mg should be your limit.

3.  Enjoy this Section: When it comes to dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, iron, calcium and folic acid, get enough of these nutrients. Below are the recommended amounts you need per day of some of these vitamins and minerals. 

Vitamin A: 700 mcg
Vitamin E: 15 mg
Vitamin C: 75 mg
Vitamin D: 5 mcg
Calcium: 1,000 mg
Iron: 18 mg
Folic Acid: 400 mcg

4. Bottom Section: This section gives you a guideline for a 2,000 or 2,500 calorie diet. When you look at the % Daily Value, it is basing those percentages off the bottom guidelines. Some people need to eat less than 2,000/2,500 calories and some need to eat more depending on your gender, weight, metabolism, etc. So these guidelines could be accurate for you or should just be ignored!
 

Did You Know? "When the Nutrition Facts label says a food contains “0 g” of trans fat, but includes 'partially hydrogenated oil' in the ingredient list, it means the food contains trans fat, but less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. So, if you eat more than one serving, you could quickly reach your daily limit of trans fat." - American Heart Association

Sources: American Heart Association, Reader's Digest Best Health

 

Love, Melissa

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