Getting By

Food Nutrition Facts Label

Reading food labels is essential to making healthy food choices. It is common to think we know what the nutritional content and ingredients are but when you take a look at the label, you may be shocked at what you discover.

At the top of the nutrition facts label, you will find the serving size. Many times, it is surprising to find out the serving size is less than we typically end up eating or drinking. Thus, we end up consuming more than one serving and also increasing the amount of calories and other less beneficial nutrients.

After the serving size on the label, you will find the calories per serving. “Per serving” is key here. If you are eating more than one serving, you will need to multiply the number of servings and calories.

The next section which includes fats, sodium and carbohydrates is important to take note of because these are the nutrients which should be limited according to the American Heart Association. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, try to stay within 11-13 grams of saturated fat, as little trans fat as possible and 1500 mg or less of sodium.

Dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamins and other nutrients are beneficial to have every day. These have been found to improve an individual’s health and may reduce the risk of some diseases and conditions.

The percentages listed on the right side of the label indicates how much the nutrient is contributing to the recommended daily amount of the specific nutrient. These percentages are based on a 2000-calorie per day goal and are another way to assist in tracking what you are eating or drinking.

Give reading labels a try to help in making healthier choices when shopping for or choosing food and beverages.

To learn more, contact Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the green building next to the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton with any questions or for more information.

Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.

Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.

Rendered 07/11/2024 10:34