Understanding a Nutritional Food Label
Me: “Sweet! Only 10 g of fat!”… proceeds to eat entire bag…
Also me, 5 minutes later: “Oh shit…that’s 10g of fat per SERVING. Six servings per bag. Oops.”
Sometimes it feels like you need a degree in order to decipher the information in a food label.
Not to mention the frustration when the information provided is for an uncooked serving… even though I don't know anybody who eats their oatmeal, pasta, or rice uncooked.
Check out this article that does a nice job of explaining how to read a nutritional label.
Here are a few extra tips that I have learned along the way:
- If you aren't totally sure how much you are eating, invest in a cheap electronic scale. Seriously, maybe 20 bucks at most… It’s a super handy thing to have around. Most people haven’t the slightest clue what 100g of potatoes looks like. Or 30g of chips. Or 50g of ice cream.
- The percentages that you see on the nutrition label are based on a 2,000 kcal per day diet. While this is generally accepted as the "average" intake, keep in mind that there is a pretty big variability with what your recommended daily intake should be.
- Don't just stop after reading the numbers. Check out the ingredients list too. As a general rule, the more ingredients a food has, the more heavily processed it is. Your body will always thrive more off of minimally processed whole foods.