Why read labels? Reading labels allows us to choose food that can make up a healthy lifestyle. A grocery store can have over 50,000 items or more, with new items arriving weekly. For many of us, this is where it gets overwhelming. The benefit of mastering healthy grocery shopping and label reading is simple: Our health and longevity.

Here are a few tips to reading food labels:

1. Serving size

Is your serving size the same as the one on the label? If you are consuming double or triple the serving size, it will add up quickly as too many calories.

2. Low fat vs. no fat

Fat free is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Low fat is 3 grams of fat or less per serving. Lean is less than 10 grams of fat per serving. The daily recommended amount of fat is about 25 percent of your daily intake.

3. What is in it?

Good proteins, carbohydrates and fats are crucial in each meal and snack. Smart phones can scan the food bar code and immediately get all the information you need for an item.

4. Numbers game

Examine the nutrition at the bottom portion of the label. It shows vitamins and minerals information. This is the percent of the daily intake of a 2,000 calorie a day diet. Creating a healthy diet with 2,000 calories is a combination of good fats, carbs and proteins. The more practice you get at reading labels, the better you will become to be your own nutritionist and buy with confidence. Get the fun factor into your health. The rewards: A happy healthy self and family. Best of all, it's less expensive.



 
Gail Heil is a wellness coach and owner of The Body Connection Wellness Center and Spa.