thecat15

Q:

I would like to know what to look for when I buy food. When I read the back, what is the most important thing i should look for?

Amy Campbell

A:

When you read a Nutrition Facts food label, there are few key things to look at. First, always look at the serving size. Most people skip over this and don’t realize that the serving size may be much less than they plan to eat. If the serving size is ½ cup but you usually eat 1 cup, you’ll have to remember that all of the values listed on the label will be twice as much. Next, look at the saturated fat (an unhealthy type of fat) content. A low saturated-fat food has no more than 1 gram per serving. Make sure the food has 0 grams of trans fat, too. Then, look at the Total Carbohydrate grams. One carbohydrate serving, or choice, contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. A dietitian can help you determine how much carbohydrate you should aim for at your meals and snacks; this varies for everyone, but most people aim for anywhere between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, and 15 to 30 grams of carb per snack. You don’t need to look at the grams of sugar because they’re figured in to the Total Carb grams. Try to choose foods with at least 2 -3 grams of fiber per serving. If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to look at the sodium content. Foods with more than 360 milligrams of sodium per serving may be too high in sodium for you; again, speak with a dietitian about your sodium goal.

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