How to Read a Food Label
What's New About the Label?
It's Simple. Healthy eating has never been easier, thanks to the new nutrition label. Here's the good news:
· Most foods in the grocery store must now have a nutrition label and an ingredient list.
· You can buy with confidence. Claims like "low cholesterol" and "fat free" can be used only
if a food meets new legal standards set by the government.
You are looking at a new label if it's titled Nutrition Facts. Old labels may still be around for a while, so don't be surprised if you see them.
Why Read the Label?
Read the label to help choose foods that make up a healthful diet. Eating a healthful diet can help reduce your risk factors for some diseases. For example, too much saturated fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol (a risk factor for hear disease). Too much sodium may be linked to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
No one food can make you healthy. In addition to eating healthful foods, stay active, don't smoke, and watch your weight!
You Can Rely on the New Label
Rest assured, when you see key words and health claims on product labels, they mean what they say as defined by the government. For example:
· Fat Free- less than 0.5 gram of fat per serving
· Low Fat- 3 grams of fat (or less) per serving
· Lean- Less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and no more than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving
· Light (Lite)- 1/3 less calories or no more than ½ the fat of the higher-calorie, higher-fat version; or no more than ½ the sodium of the higher-sodium version
· Cholesterol Free- Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat per serving
Five Of The Strangest Ways to Eat Less Calories and Lose Weight
To Make Health Claims About...
The Food Must Be...
|Heart Disease and Fats||Low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol|
|Blood Pressure and Sodium||Low in sodium|
|Heart Disease||A fruit, vegetable or grain product low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, that contains at least 0.6 gram soluble fiber, without fortification, per serving|