Food & Drink

What You Should Know About Reading Food Labels at the Grocery Store

Most people are seeking to live a healthier lifestyle—particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic made people’s metabolisms really low. While exercise is certainly an effective way to cut out the fat in your life, eating healthier foods is the single most effective way to reduce your potential for weight gain. Pay attention to these various labels the next time you pick up groceries.

Nutrition Labels

The first thing you should read whenever you pick up a package of food is the nutrition labels. Food companies are required by law to tell you how much of each vitamin, mineral, and ingredient to avoid lawsuits. The nutrition labels are great if you are trying to balance your intake of the various minerals.

Additionally, you can also read the packages if you want to avoid specific ingredients. Sugar is something most diets ask you to cut out. Understand that the people who create the nutrition details still want you to buy their products, so they will “dress up” simple words like sugar into science-y words (glucose, maltose, corn syrup).

Product Labels

Another thing you should pay attention to is product labels. These are marked generally on the front of the box for most products and are meant to draw people in who are looking to fill a specific dietary need. Low-carb, organic, vegan, and natural are all words you should pay attention to—for better and for worse.

Many of these products are required to honestly advertise. For example, organic foods are generally free of pesticides and antibiotics. But make sure you are reading the product labels in tandem with the nutrition labels. They might tell a different story.

Reading Calories

Lastly, you should be able to work out the number of calories that are in any given food product. Oftentimes, advertisers will place caloric labels on the front of the product for all to see. However, you have to be careful with these notes.

Most of the time, they will have small print that says, “200 calories per serving.” This last comment is important since it means the whole package has more calories than you might catch at first. Always view the calories at the top of the nutrition labels, followed by the serving size. You can do the math to find out the true calories.

These three habits will help you become healthier and a more conscious shopper. Gone are the days you spent too much money on a snack you can’t eat. Be mindful. Doing these things will help you to be a much more educated buyer.

Read this next: How to Plan a Hike With Your Whole Family