Understanding Food Labels

by | Jun 29, 2015 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

Ways to decipher a food’s label on your next shopping trip.

During our last blog we discussed false claims that are made by the food industry, so that you can have a more discerning eye when making your food choices. Today we’ll discuss how you can use the label to not only lay rest to these claims, but also choose the foods that are perfect for your goals. Precise Portions is determined to help you make informed choices. Our site is dedicated to gradual and sustainable weight loss through exercise, health habits, and well-controlled portion sizes for both children and adults.

Determine Goals

Before you even hit the aisles, it is critical that you determine what your own personal goals are. Often these goals are defined by an eating plan that you are choosing to follow, or one that you have created for yourself. The more specific the better when it comes to choosing food based on food labels because your objectives will define what is acceptable for you to see on a food label and what is not.

Laying False Claims to Rest

The first thing to identify on the food label is whether the claims the food is making are true or not. If the food is claiming to be fat-free or low fat, is the fat content in fact low enough for your liking? The FDA ensures that these foods contain fewer than 0.5 grams and fewer than 3 grams of fat, respectively, but do these lower fat numbers correspond with your goals? If not, this is not a low enough fat food for you to waste your money on.

Be Ruthless

Once you get to the grocery store aisles, you must remember to be ruthless with yourself. If you see something on a food label that was not on your acceptable list – a high processed sugar count, high fat, too many grams of carbohydrates, multi-grain instead of whole grain – you must not rationalize it. Simply put it down and move on to something that will be a smarter choice. Keep in mind that this ruthlessness is what will get you to your ultimate end goal.

Learning to Read Again

Learning to read a food label is like learning to read all over again! Here are a few quick steps to help you understand the most efficient way to read your food label:

  1. Start with the serving information. This will help you understand how much bang you get for your buck – or how much of the food you can eat before you reach the limits listed.
  2. Next, look for calories. Remember, if you eat two servings, you have to double this number of calories.
  3. Hard limits – try to keep your saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium to a minimum. These nutrients are not friends of your new healthy eating plan!
  4. The good guys – get enough dietary fiber, protein, vitamins a & c, calcium, and iron to sustain your daily activities.
  5. In moderation – consume carbohydrates and fats in moderation. These will give you energy, but can turn against you if you’re not careful!

For more information on Precise Proportions and to access the resources available to you, please visit www.preciseportions.com or call 866-591-DIET today.