How The Heck Do I Read a Nutrition Label: Part 1 {nutrition tips}

6 Mar

steel cut oats nutrition facts

Understanding all those numbers and percentages on your favorite cereal’s nutrition label is confusing for us all…EVEN registered dietitians. I’m going to break it all down for you in a few steps – which should help you not only understand what it is that you are eating, but help you make informed choices when grocery shopping.

SO, first step. So simple. Look to the right hand side of your label. See all those bolded percentages? They are your DV or daily value of what the government recommends you should be eating of each particular nutrient. All you need to think about are two very important numbers: 5-20%. Picture a spectrum of numbers with 5 being on one end, 20 on the other. Any nutrient that is 5% or around that #, would be considered low. We want fat, saturated fat, sodium and sometimes carbohydrates to be on the lower end of that spectrum. Can you guess the only nutrient that needs to be higher on that spectrum?? You guessed it. Fiber. (The government doesn’t get involved in protein requirements, but if you guessed protein you were definitely on the right track). Generally speaking, choose products that are high in fiber. Steel cut oats (the type of oatmeal highest in fiber) has a DV% of at least 20. Super high. One more number to think about when you think of fiber is 3. You want your product to have at least 3 grams of fiber in it. Very simple. Fiber gives bulk to your carby foods and disseminates the good carbs from the devilish ones.

Stay tuned for your next mini-lesson on nutrition labels…!

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