Making Sense of Nutrition Labels and Ingredients


The first rule of thumb: Would your grandmother recognize it?

grocery-shoppingWhen perusing the grocery store and trying to understand what ingredients are listed in a food or beverage item you’re looking to purchase, it all can be a bit mind-numbing. With a flurry of numbers, percentages, ingredients and Nutrition Facts, your brain can experience information overload.

Popular wisdom tells us that these little numbers and nutritional facts are important to our health. But our own stomachs tell us to stop paying so much attention to them and to just throw the food into the cart. 


The first rule of thumb when reading a nutrition label is to search the label for the actual ingredients in a food, located nearby the Nutrition Facts info box (most usually listed underneath it). Look for foods you recognize, understand, and can pronounce. Would your grandmother recognize it? If so, chances are it might be okay to eat. Ingredients coming straight from nature are best. The less processed, the better! 

Secondly, always be sure to check the serving size. Chances are you will have to significantly increase the calorie count listed on the box when the servings per container exceed one. 

Lastly, be sure to choose items that have little to no Saturated Fats, Cholesterol, Sodium and Sugar per serving. As these ingredients contribute to health problems when daily consumption is too high.

Another good rule of thumb to live by is it’s always best to shop the perimeter of your grocery store. That’s where you’ll find the freshest ingredients and less processed foods! 

Cheers to health in life, 

Amanda Fitz