Nutrition labels

How do I read nutrition labels to know what option is the best choice?

  • Great question! 

    Reading food labels can be very overwhelming.  After all, with limited time and most dinner decisions made after 4 pm on the same day, shoppers want to get in and out of the grocery stores quickly.

    1. Review food labels at home prior to arriving at the grocery store so you are prepared in advance.  This approach will save shopping time and put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to making shopping decisions for you and your family
    2. Identify your nutrition goals and focus on the nutrients that will impact your nutrition goals
    3. Compare the same type of products and identify what on the label is the same and what is different? See soup label example below.
    4. Are you seeing recognizable ingredients. 
    5. The best choices in the grocery store are low in sugar, sodium, reasonable calories, high fiber and nutrient dense (provide a lot of nutrients for the least number of calories)

    Example Soup Label: what is different?

    soup nutrition label compare

    Start at the top of the label

    • Serving size (portion size identified)
    • Serving per container (total amount in package)

    All nutrients below represent a single portion

    • Calories portion size amount identified in the serving size
    • Total Fat includes all types of fat: Saturated fat, trans fat, unsaturated fat
    • Total sodium (milligrams) portion size amount identified in the serving size
    • Total Carbohydrate encompasses fiber and total sugars which can include added sugar and sugar that is naturally occurring in the food
    • Total Protein the amount of protein the food contains

    how to read a nutrition label


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