Be Sure to Read Labels for Portion, Calorie Control

From - January 11, 2018

Be Sure to Read Labels for Portion, Calorie Control

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 -- "Nutrition Facts" labels mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have made it easier to know more about what's inside packaged foods. But the information is not always easy to decipher, especially since the "daily value" percentages are based on a maintenance diet, not a weight-loss one.

Start by looking at the number of servings in the package and the calories in each of those servings. Realize that if the calorie count is low because the serving size is very small, one portion may not satisfy you.

Next, look at the nutrients. Fat grams deliver twice the calories of protein and carbs, so keep them in check. Limit saturated fat if your doctor has told you that's important. Choose items that have already eliminated trans fat, a step that must be taken by food manufacturers by mid-2018.

Many people get their protein from sources like chicken and fish that do not have nutrition labels. If you are a vegetarian, pay close attention to the protein grams when choosing grains and legumes. Check fiber grams, too -- more fiber is more filling and boosts digestive health.

Though vitamins and minerals do not factor into calories, make sure you are getting enough of the vitamins A and C, and the minerals calcium and iron, nutrients often lacking in the American diet.

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