Food and Fitness Fundamentals
Nutrition Labels: The inside story
Many of you probably already glance at food labels, whether it’s scoping out calories, fat or sodium. This resource of information provided on most packaged food products can be a very powerful tool to help ensure that you are consuming a healthy and well balanced diet. Read food labels when shopping, planning meals and when you cook each day. This provides a quick and convenient way to compare food items and aids in choosing the healthiest food alternatives.
Food labels consist of two parts: Nutrition Facts and the Ingredient List. They may be overwhelming for some, especially early in the learning phase. However, time spent understanding and using food label information should yield big dividends for you in the long run.
The Bottom Line
When reading food labels, focus on specific information that is pertinent to your goals. Monitoring calories, fat and portion sizes are good strategies for weight management, sodium control for hypertension, limiting carbohydrates for diabetes. Studies show that paying attention to nutrition labels does help achieve overall goals and compliance. Remember to emphasize a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products. Choose lean meats, poultry and seafood, and prepare them using as little added fat as possible, such as grilling, broiling or steaming.
*Learn more about nutrition labeling
If you are interested in learning more about healthy eating and good nutrition, contact our Nutrition Services Department at (541) 754-1370.