My Truths #59 (labels)

by Stephanie

Knowing what to look for on a food label is key to choosing the right foods. When looking at a label most people start by looking at the calories. This is an important piece of information but not particularly telling unless you also look at the serving size. A small bag of potato chips might seem like a reasonable indulgence until you realize that there are actually two “servings” in that small bag. Tell me… who’s going to open it and eat only half? Who? Many people also look at the fat content in their quest for low fat products.

The truth is I never look at calories or fat…they don’t scare me. The key pieces of information for me are:

1) Carbohydrates: I eat low carb so this is the most important information on the label for me.

2) Fibre (or “fiber” if you’re American): The fibre content of a food also relates back to the carbs… the higher the fibre the lower the net carbs. Take the total carbs in grams – the fibre content in grams = net carb impact on your body.

3) Serving size: As in the example above… knowing the net carbs is important but if the suggested serving size is only half of what you’re actually going to eat than do the math.

4) Ingredients: Hugely important! No matter what type of “diet” you follow the mantra  JUST EAT REAL FOOD is sensible for everyone. Look for fewer ingredients and things you recognize and can pronounce.