Fact: Reading nutrition facts is a smart way to support weight loss and better health. But all those numbers and ingredients can seem confusing, especially if you’re just starting to make reading labels a habit. No worries! We have a rundown of 5 things to look for while reading nutrition facts.
1. Sugar Sources
Food manufacturers use dozens of names to describe sugar when listing ingredients. Examples include corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, and high fructose corn syrup. Bookmark 50 Names for Sugar so you can refer to it while cruising the grocery aisles. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 20 grams of added sugar daily. Satisfy your sweet tooth without extra sugar with No Sugar Added Desserts.
2. Sodium Levels
High sodium contributes to high blood pressure, increasing the risk for stroke and heart disease. Excess sodium is a major problem with many processed foods. Manufacturers add the ingredient to boost flavor; the result is you’ll want to eat even more of that food. Try to consume fewer than 2,300 milligrams of sodium every day, and fewer than 1,500 milligrams if you’re an older adult. Reduce sodium intake by choosing recipes made with minimally processed ingredients like SkinnyMs. Entrées and SkinnyMs. Snacks.
3. Serving Size
Eating proper portion sizes can make a big difference in losing weight and keeping it off. Always check serving sizes on food packages and recipes. If you’re unsure what that serving size actually looks like, grab a measuring cup and portion out the proper amount. Try this 7-Day Portion Control Menu or our perfectly-portioned Skinny Lasagna Rolls.
This nutrient is key for any healthy lifestyle. Fiber helps control the appetite so you’re less likely to reach for unhealthy snack choices. In addition, it helps lower cholesterol levels. Check out 31 High-Fiber Foods and try our Banana Walnut Bran Muffins.
5. Bad Fats
When you’re reading nutrition facts, always look for fat sources. Saturated fat often comes from animal sources, including foods like red meat and whole dairy products. This fat source raises total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Trans fats, which form when liquid oil is turned into solid fat, clog the arteries and contribute to heart disease by raising levels of LDL. Some evidence suggests they may also boost the risk for diabetes . Avoid or limit foods with saturated or trans fats. Learn 5 Reasons Why Healthy Fats are Good for You and then treat yourself to Avocado & Grape Salad with Walnuts, which is rich in good fats.
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