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5 things to look for on a food label

July 13th, 2012 | no comments

To keep it quick and simple, there are five specific nutrients you should pay attention to when evaluating any food label: saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, fiber and sugar. Aim for the following numbers per serving:

Saturated fat-
1 gram or less

Trans Fat-
0 grams + no ‘partially hydrogenated oils’, ‘hydrogenated oils’ or ‘shortening’ in the ingredients list

Sodium-

Less than 140 mg

Fiber-
3 grams or more

Sugar-
10 grams or less

(Note: I’m talking about added sugar here, not natural sugars. Natural sugar from fruit and milk are just that…natural! So when you spot “Sugar: 13 grams” on the nutrition facts label of a gallon of milk…don’t freak out! It’s actually natural milk sugar and does not pose the risks of added sugar. If you’re unsure whether a food contains added sugar, look at the list of ingredients for these words.)

The bottom line: It’s all about balance! Not all foods will fit under these guidelines. For example, a serving of cheddar cheese has 6 grams of saturated fat, 170 mg of sodium and 0 grams of fiber, but it also offers a healthy dose of calcium! Shop wisely by steering your cart along the perimeter of the grocery store and you will automatically make better food choices.

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