For years, food companies could pretty much decide on their own what nutrition information to put on a package. Today, however, federal regulations require most foods to carry labels with a detailed accounting of what’s inside. Here’s what to look for:
This tells you what size portion the nutritional information on the label is based on. For example, your favorite frozen yogurt might contain 4 grams of fat. That looks good — until you realize that the serving size is half a cup.
If the calories are high, pass it by.
Grams Of Total Fat
Ask yourself if this food fits reasonably into your daily goals, or if you’ll blow your whole fat budget in one sitting.
Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
You should have no more than 300 mg. of cholesterol a day. For women, 45 to 50 g. of fat a day is about the maximum; men should limit their intake to 55 to 60 g. If you eat mainly vegetables, fruits, grains and beans, and if you also keep total fat intake low, you should be doing allright.
Remember that 2,400 mg. should be your upper limit for one day.
Look at the “percent DV” for dietary fiber and certain nutrients (vitamins A and C, calcium and iron) at the bottom of the label. This Daily Value is the amount of this nutrient recommended in one day. The higher the numbers, the better.