Nutritional info for all food products should be listed somewhere on the packaging. It gives you the amount of calories, fat, sugars, sodium, and essential vitamins.
What do you look for on these labels?
Well first off you should see what the size of 1 serving is. The example below shows that one serving size is 1 cup or 228g. This means that all the numbers below is whats in 1 cup. Right below that is how many servings is in the packaging. The example shows 2 servings, if you consumed the whole package. You’ve consumed 2 servings of the product. So you will double the numbers shown on the label. Example would be that you would have consumed 500 calories if you had consumed the entire package. 440 of those calories would be from fat. Remember that you want to stay in means of your recommended daily calorie intake. So this is something that’s important to pay attention to. If you want to find out how many calories you should be consuming a day, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can set you up with an online food log.
The next thing to pay attention to is the amount of fat grams there are per serving, and also what types of fat it’s made with. The example shows 12g per serving, with 3g of Saturated Fat and 1.5g of Trans Fat. These are the 2 types of Fats you should stay away from. They can raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Look for foods with Polyunsaturated or Monounsaturated Fats. These type of fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. (I will get into the topic of fats at a later date.)
The line below the Fats is Cholesterol and Sodium. You generally want to keep these numbers low, as the higher these numbers get the more prone you are to cardiovascular disease. Sodium should be kept less than 2300mg a day, refer back to my blog about Sodium.
The next lines are Carbohydrates, Fiber, and Sugar, refer back to my blogs about Carbohydrates and Fiber. Sugar is a big culprit in food, higher sugar levels means more calories. Also too much sugar ends up being stored as Fat, if it’s not burned off. (I will touch on this subject at a later date.)
The line after is Protein. Protein is the building block of muscle growth. (I will touch on this subject in more detail later.) Generally, you’d want to have around .5g to 1 g of protein a day for every kg of bodyweight you have a day.
The last few lines are your vitamins and minerals. If you take a multivitamin everyday, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about these. (I will touch on each of these in more detail later.)
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what to look for when your grocery shopping. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.