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How to Read Nutritional Labels

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These little labels find their way onto just about everything we eat – but be honest – how often do you take the time to read them? One of the main reasons why we don’t read nutritional labels is because they can be confusing, so we decided to give you a few tips to demystify the humble nutritional label.

Pay attention to serving size, because it might be tiny. All of the numbers on the label are related to the serving size, so beware if you plan on doubling a small serving portion. You’re also doubling the things you want to limit, which are; calories, sugar, sodium, fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol. Nutrients that are helpful for your body include; dietary fiber, vitamins, calcium and iron.

When it comes to calories: 40 is low, 100 calories are moderate and 400+ is a highly caloric food. In a whole day, a person should eat around 2000 calories, depending on their specific dietary needs. The percentages on the nutritional label relate to a 2000 calorie per day diet.

Be aware of the fact that sugar goes by quite a few aliases. Cane juice crystals, corn syrup solids, dextrose, fructose, glucose, mannitol and sucrose are all – you guessed it – names for sugar. Also, stay the heck away from monosodium glutamate (aka MSG) because it’s present in a ton of low quality snack foods and highly, highly addictive. When in doubt, google a questionable ingredient!

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