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Reading and Understanding Food Labels

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Reading and understanding food labels can be really tricky. However it is important especially for homemakers to know how to read and understand such nutritional labels. Basically, food labels provide a detailed and comprehensive account of what is included in a particular food item. In a similar manner, food labels also provide the types of vitamins, minerals and nutrients one can get from a particular food item.


The problem however is that food labels are often filled with unnecessary jargon that may confuse the average homemaker. Hence below are some tips on how to read and understand food labels in a clearer manner.

Always be a doubter

When it comes to food, giving the benefit of the doubt is not that wise. A good rule of thumb is to always know exactly what type of food you consume or what ingredients are included in the food you consume. You need to be always sure.

If you are in doubt as to what a particular food label means, try asking your dietician or even your general physician. Additionally, it would be a lot wiser if you do not simply believe everything that's being presented to you. Try to find out the truth yourself, with the Internet, it's a lot easier.

Know what ingredients are included

You need to also pay close attention to the ingredients included in the food item you are considering to buy. Find out how was it made and from what was it made. Needless to say, a potato chip does not necessarily contain potatoes. That's a bitter pill to swallow but that is how some food manufactures do business.

Apart from the actual ingredients, the nutrients contained should also be looked at. In general, opt for a food item that has greater amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to food items with heaps of carbohydrates and calories.

Check the serving size per calculation

Another important thing that you should consider is the serving size per calculation. Find out whether the food label is based per serving or if it's for the whole package. You need to be really cautious here as most food manufacturers use such trick whenever they're food are deemed unhealthy due to high amounts of calories.

Scrutinize the types of fat included

There are various types of fat and it is important that you find out what exact types are included in the food item you are considering to buy. There are healthy types and unhealthy ones so you need to really master the trick here. Basically, saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and tropical oils should be avoided as much as possible.

Do not forget the calories per serving

The calories per serving is another vital factor in food labels. Actually, it's the first thing that you should look at as calories are energy and unused energy will eventually make you fat. Make sure that the calories per serving is sufficient enough but not too high.

Since 1994, the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA has obliged food manufacturers and distributors to put a food label at the back of their food items in order to equip consumers with the right knowledge on what they are eating and how healthy they are.

Now it's up to you to reap the benefits of the transparency created by the FDA.