Smart Woman: What to Look for on Nutrition Labels

Published 03/22 2013 07:34PM

Updated 02/16 2015 10:16AM

Nutrition labels are everywhere. They're on things like soups, cereals and salad dressings, but how many of the numbers do you actually digest?

People tend to pay attention to the top of the label. They look at the serving size, calories and fat, but sometimes ignore some of the other parts of the label.

Registered Dietitian Marisa Moore says every line of a label tells a story. You don't need to be a mathematician to read labels, simply add a little bit of time to a little bit of patience. Labels show us how much of a particular nutrient is in a food, the percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for a healthy adult, Even if that does not describe your diet.

Look to get small percentages of nutrients like sugar and salt and cholesterol but you want to look for higher percentages of things like fiber and maybe even aim for 20 percent or more of those. You always want to make sure you avoid the front of the package, which can sometimes be filled with marketing hype.

Remember to look at the types of fats. If you're looking for trans fat, you might forget that saturated fat is also important. Getting to know your foods makes shopping a lot easier later on.

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