What to Look for on Your Food Labels

Reading food labels is essential for overall health and fitness because it allows you to make informed decisions about the food you eat. By understanding what’s in your food, you can better control your portions and make healthier choices that will support your fitness goals. Here are some reasons why reading food labels is important:

  • Helps with portion control: Understanding serving sizes and portion control is key to maintaining a healthy diet. Food labels provide information on the serving size and the number of servings per container, which can help you manage your portion sizes and prevent overeating.
  • Identifies artificial ingredients: Food labels list all of the ingredients in a product, including any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Avoiding these artificial ingredients can help improve your overall health and well-being.
  • Provides nutrient information: Nutrient information, such as some vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, is listed on food labels. This can help you choose foods that are nutrient-dense and provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  • Helps manage calorie intake: Food labels provide calorie information per serving, which can help you manage your calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Helps control sugar and sodium intake: Many processed foods contain high amounts of sugar and sodium. Reading food labels can help you identify these hidden ingredients and make healthier choices.

Here are some tips on how to read food labels for a fit and healthy life:

  1. Look at the serving size: Make sure you are comparing the serving size listed on the label to the amount you actually eat. If you eat more than one serving, you’ll need to adjust the nutrient information accordingly.
  2. Check the calories: Pay attention to the calorie count per serving. This information can help you manage your calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Avoid artificial ingredients: Look for products with minimal artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
  4. Look for nutrient-dense foods: Choose foods that are high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
  5. Limit sugar and sodium: Choose foods with low amounts of added sugars and sodium. The daily recommended intake of sodium is 2,300 milligrams or less. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar per day. For men, no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) per day.

In summary, reading food labels is an essential part of maintaining a healthy diet and supporting your fitness goals. By understanding serving sizes, calorie counts, and nutrient information, you can make informed decisions about the food you eat and make choices that support your overall health and well-being.

Published by Alicia K.

Alicia K, the founder of Enrich Your Life Fitness, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and an over-40 mom of two teens.

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