Read Your Labels
Not everyone can make their meals from scratch, and that’s alright. If you are eating foods that are processed in any way, remember to read the labels to make sure that you know what you’re getting when you eat these foods. All calculations on labels are based on the typical 2000-calorie, adult diet.
Serving Size & Number of Servings
The first thing you will see, at the top of the label is serving size and number of servings. You would be surprised how many actual servings are in some foods. You also want to have a look at calories per serving. This directly relates to the serving size and will tell you if you are over eating or can have more of the food you are enjoying.
Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, & Carbohydrates
The next thing on the label are the total amounts per serving and daily percentage of these particular components. While some fats, sodium, cholesterol, and carbohydrates are healthier than others – essential for maintaining your body, cell membranes, and providing energy – the ones found in processed foods that require labeling are unlikely to be of that good variety and you should be conscious of consumption.
Saturated Fat vs. Trans Fat
Saturated fats are fatty acid molecules that don’t have double bonds and considered to be less healthy. Trans fats are manufactured through hydrogenation, which adds to the shelf life and flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them.