(HealthDay News) - Reading and understanding the nutrition facts label on food products can help you maintain a well-balanced diet that contains healthy amounts of fat and calories.
Here are guidelines to help you interpret food labels, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:
- Pay attention to the serving size -- usually the first line on the label. The serving size is the manufacturer's estimate of how much a person is likely to eat at one time. If you eat more than the serving size, be sure to increase the label's other values accordingly.
- The percent daily value shows, for each ingredient, how much of that ingredient's recommended daily amount you are getting in each serving.
- Limit foods with unhealthy amounts of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.
- Favor foods with healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals.