1. Under Nutrition Facts you will find Serving Size and Servings Per Container. This is so important, because a lot of times people will just assume that whatever they are eating is only one serving. Here's an example from my own fridge:
Tazo Giant Peach Green Tea
Serving Size 8oz.
Servings Per Container 2
Total Calories when I drink the full 16 oz. bottle: 180 calories and 40g of sugar...Yikes!
- Just because something is packaged in a small bag, doesn't mean that it is only one serving...I think of this when I see small packages of chips, ice cream, candy, pre-packaged snack goods, etc.
- The labels are made to confuse you and to seem as if their product is healthy, so always double check!
- Anytime I see a product claiming to be "natural", or "healthy" I laugh, because I don't see any labels claiming "healthy and natural" on my fresh fruits, greens, and proteins.
2.Under Amounts Per Serving you will see Calories and Calories from Fat. It is important to note the calories and the fat calories. Here's another example from my pantry this time:
ThinkThin Mixed Nuts Crunch Bar
Serving Size 1 bar
Calories from fat 100
- People sometimes shy away from products with fat. They think that foods with fat will make them fat and that is not always the case. You want to eat healthy fats from nuts, olive oils, fish, and avocados. The majority of the fat from my ThinkThin bar comes from peanuts, almonds, and cashews, so it's a good amount of fat that will help me feel full longer.
3. Under the Calories you will see the Total Fat, Sodium, and Total Carbohydrates which include Dietary Fiber, and Sugar.
- This is another main part of the nutrition facts that you should always look over before throwing a product into your cart.
- The difference between a good carb and a bad carb is usually just the amount of fiber and sugar it has. I love whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat pizza dough, whole wheat bread, tortilla chips, waffles and all the brands that I purchase have at least 3g of fiber (per 1 serving).
Here's an example of bread from my pantry:
Rudi's Organic Bread: 7 Grain with Flax
Serving Size 1 slice
Servings Per Container 14
Calories from fat 15
Total fat 1.5 g
Total Carb 18g
Dietary Fiber 4g
- On average women need about 25 grams of fiber a day, while men need 35 grams. So when I make a sandwich I am getting 8 grams of fiber just from the bread alone.
4. Under the Sugars you will see the Protein.
- There really isn't anything tricky about the protein section. Just remember that you want to eat well balanced meals that contain fat, carbs and protein; which will help you to feel full longer.
5. At the bottom you will see the Ingredients.
- I try to stick with products with ingredients that I know and can read/understand. I also stay far away from products that are not organic, have food dyes, are genetically engineered (that just sounds scary to me) and that have artificial preservatives/additives.
- Another good things to notice is that the ingredients are listed from what is in the product the most, to the least. So the first few ingredients are a good indication of what you are eating. If one of the first few ingredients is some sort of sugar (LIKE MOST CEREALS) then don't buy it.
Remember you are what you eat and food is fuel, so feed your body well.
I hope this helps everyone and your families. :)