How to Read a Nutrition Label for Weight Loss
How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label for Weight Loss
by Morgan Vitti, Roundabout Meal Prep Assistant Director
Learning to read nutrition labels can be incredibly beneficial. Nutrition labels pack a ton of information and can sometimes be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Let us give you three easy steps to reading nutrition labels so you can conquer any grocery store or even restaurant (if they offer nutrition facts online).
Step 1: Start at the Top of the Nutrition Label
Step number one is to start at the top of the label and check the serving size of the food item. This is one of the most important parts of the label to check because this can quickly change the actual amounts on this label. Many times, labels will say that one serving is only half the item. This is very common with drinks especially. If a label says that half the item is one serving size at 200 calories for example, and you eat the whole item then you actually consumed 400 calories. Not only does eating two servings of the food item double the calories, it will also double all the other nutrients in the food item. This can do damage to a calorie or macro controlled diet if you’re not careful. It can also cause excess weight gain regardless of being on a diet if you are not cognizant of your calorie/macro consumption.
Step 2: Pay Attention to Percent Daily Value
Step number two is to pay attention to the percent daily value, or seen as %DV on a nutrition fact label. A common rule of thumb is that anything less than 5% of your daily value is consider low and anything over 20% is considered high. This means that you want to keep nutrients such as saturated fats, trans fat, and sugars low and nutrients such as vitamins, potassium, fiber, and iron high.
Step 3: Make Your Calories Count
Step number three is to make your calories count. Pay attention to the amount of calories offered in your food item and how it compares to the amount of nutrients it offers. Because fat, protein, and carbohydrates all provide our bodies with energy in the form of carbs, we commonly come across labels that can offer the same amount of calories but very different macro amounts. This is something to pay attention to. Other nutrients like vitamins, cholesterol, and sodium do not provide us with any calories. Therefore it is important to always check the amounts of these nutrients because they differ even if the calories do not.
That’s it! Now you are an expert at reading nutrition fact labels and can conquer any label. Interested in a specific topic that we haven’t talked about yet? DM us on our Instagram @ramp.reno or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep on crushing your goals ladies and gents!