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guest post: quick tips for reading nutrition labels

by sincerelycaroline
food label

This week’s guest post comes to you from Samantha Mendelowitz, registered dietitian and licensed dietetic nutritionist at Nourish Nutrition and Health. I had the pleasure of meeting Samantha at an event this past summer and recognized immediately her enthusiasm for helping others discover a healthy lifestyle. Today, she’s helping you suss out the details for reading nutrition labels. Read on for her tips!

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Nutrition labels – the arch nemesis of anyone trying to get healthier, right? Not so! Nutrition labels are notoriously confusing and overwhelming, but here are some tips to remember when you’re trying to understand those labels and what you’re putting into your body.

1. Start with the Serving Size
– Look here for both the serving size and the number of servings in the package
– Compare your portion size to the serving size

2. Total Calories and Fat per Serving
– Check out the number of calories per serving and the grams of fat per serving
– If weight loss is your goal, this is an important step!

3. Use the Percent Daily Value as a Guide
– 5 percent or less is low. Consider this for fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium
– 20 percent or more is high. Consider this for vitamins, minerals, and fiber

4. Most importantly, check the list of ingredients!
–  Ingredients are always listed in descending order by weight, so those with the largest amounts are listed first. Try to limit added sugar and salt!

And here’s a simple recipe with great nutritional value to try for a busy morning!

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Simple Whole Grain Breakfast
Meal prep does not need to be elaborate or complex; in fact some of the best recipes have 5 or less ingredients! Try out this delicious whole grain recipe the next time you’re in the mood for a super simple and fast breakfast.

ingredients

1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats (like Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup gluten-free puffed brown rice cereal or Rice Chex
1 Tablespoon raw walnuts
1 Tablespoon dried fruit (like raisins)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

direction

Combine ingredients in bowl and enjoy!

nutriton facts: 
415 calories | 14 g protein | 170 mg sodium | 10 g fiber

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Samantha Headshot-2

For more information regarding the Nutrition Facts Panel please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at eatright.org or call Nourish Nutrition and Health at 412-407-7402. You can also check out Samantha’s Nourish Nutrition and Health site, and find her on Facebook and Twitter.