What to look for on a label

Labels contain a lot of information and can be very confusing. Concentrate on checking these key items:

Serving size: 
Is your normal serving size the same as the one on the label? If you eat double the serving size, you will have to double the nutrient values. If you are comparing different brands of the same product, make sure sizes are the same.

Total Fat:
The acceptable amount of fat varies for each food group. Normally, the lower the fat content, the better it is for you. (See guidelines for individual food groups on pages 10 through 15.)

Saturated Fat:
Most of the saturated fat in your diet should come from the meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods, not from processed foods. Try to avoid foods with high saturated fat numbers.

Cholesterol:
Cholesterol is found only in animal products. Meat, fish and poultry, as well as high fat dairy products, will contain it. A limit of 300 mg or less per day is recommended. If you follow the guidelines in this booklet, your dietary cholesterol should be well within acceptable limits.

Sodium:
It’s important to restrict the amount of sodium in your diet if you have hypertension or if your doctor has told you to do so. A lower sodium diet would contain no more than 2000 mg. sodium per day.

Ingredient List:
Ingredients are listed in decreasing order based on how much is in the food. Avoid foods that contain the following saturated fats.

 

Animal Fat
Beef Fat
Butter
Chicken Fat
Cocoa Butter
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Fat/Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Salt Pork
Whole Milk
Bacon
Beef Tallow
Cheese
Chocolate
Coconut
Cream
Lard
Palm Oil
Sour Crea

 


Label Reading Guidelines

What to look for on a label