Reading Labels Right for Medical Weight Loss
Food labels—everybody sees them, but many people ignore them. A food label is the black and white grid that is placed on every bottle, box and bag of food and drink that dictates the calorie content, recommended serving size and the nutritional value of an item. Food labels can be a huge help to you during your program for medical weight management in Fayetteville and DeWitt.
As you branch out from your meal replacement program and start exploring all the healthy food choices available to you, food labels can help you stay on track and make healthy decisions morning, afternoon and night.
But a food label will be no help to you if you don’t know how to read it. Here are a few tips to help you read food labels during your medical weight loss program:
- Start at the top. Some of the most pertinent information will be at the top of the food label. This includes things like the calorie content and serving size. Don’t be fooled by packaging. Many bags of snacks and bottles of juice have more than one serving in the package.
- Check out the nutrients. The middle panel of the food label is a long list of nutrients followed by numbers and percentages. The number tell you how many grams or milligrams of a nutrient are in the food, while the percentage tells you how much of your daily requirement of that nutrient will be fulfilled by eating it. The percentage gives you a good idea of how much of that nutrient this item has compared to other items in your diet. If you find that an item has 50 grams of carbohydrates, which makes up more than a quarter of your daily carbohydrate allotment, then it may not be a wise snack for your weight loss goals.
- Read the ingredients. The first ingredient listed is the most heavily used ingredient in the item. If sugar is the first thing you see on the label, that is a good indication that what you are about to eat is predominantly sugar.
Food labels can become a huge help to you during your weight loss program. For more help developing healthy eating strategies or to learn more tips on choosing healthy foods, talk with your medical weight loss specialist Dr. Scinta.