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  • Aya Mustafa

Understanding Nutrition Labels

What better way is there to get to know your food than by understanding the label that comes with it? At first glance, the black and white panel can be intimidating, but with a few label-reading skills, you’ll be better equipped to make more effective decisions at the grocery store.

Serving Size:

  • The first thing nutrition labels offer us is the servings per container, followed by the serving size. You’ll notice that the serving size is offered in two units of measurements: a familiar unit followed by a metric unit. The familiar unit, for example “1 cup,” allows customers to easily visualize how much of the product is considered a serving, and can then efficiently compare it to similar products.

  • The serving size is NOT a recommendation of how much you should consume of the product, but rather the amount that people typically consume.

  • The rest of the information on the label is based on that typical consumption amount.

  • If the serving size does not match your typical consumption of the product simply adjust all later information accordingly.

For example, if you usually consume 2 cups of a product that has a serving size of 1, you should multiply all additional information by 2.


Calories:

  • The amount of calories on a food label is specific to the amount of energy you will receive from one serving of the food.

Nutrients:

This section of the nutrition label displays key nutrients that impact our health.