How to read food labels: buy truly healthy products
- Look at ingredients list. They are listed in order of weight. You should be careful if the list contains partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils because it means that the product has trans fats. Also check for added sugars and whole grains.
- At the top of food label you can check serving size. Sometimes it is smaller than you expect and usually eat. In such case you need to increase all nutritional contents according to your needs.
- After you should look at number of calories per serving and calories from fat. The total amount of calories is very important if you wish to control your weight or currently coping with overweight.
- More down you will see the total fat per serving and the grams of saturated, polyunsaturated, trans, and monounsaturated fats. Amounts will be rounded to near full number (like 0,8=1 gram). If you want to limit saturated fats to 5% of your total calories, divide your body weight to 12 and you get a daily limit of these fats.
- It's better to exclude trans fats, but you can consume polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, they are healthy.
- Further down you are able to check cholesterol content. This number is not so important because your blood cholesterol levels will depend on saturated and trans fats. So feel free to skip this point.
- Next you can find information about fiber content. Men should take more than 38 grams of total fiber per day, when women more than 25 grams.
- Further down is information on sugar. Of course, less is better. Unfortunately, it won't be mentioned if its natural or added sugar so check the ingredients list to distinguish it. Usually, you will see high-fructose corn syrup.
- And a final one is protein content. More of less, all products give healthy protein intake so it's no reason to count it.
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