Nutrition

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Nutrition Labels 101: How to Evaluate Packaged Foods

Check the Serving Size

Check the Serving Size

After scanning the ingredients list, check out the serving size on the Nutritional Facts chart. If you notice the serving size is a small portion but a larger percentage of your daily calories, fat or sodium intake, it’s probably not the healthiest choice. Often, packages contain more that one serving of food, meaning you may need to do some simple math to accurately count calories, fat, sugar and the like. For instance, if you normally have two cups of cereal for breakfast, and the label says one serving is equal to one cup, you’ll need to double all of the nutrition information on the chart. You may discover that some foods are much higher in calories, fat or sugar than you anticipated. 

By Amanda Tust. Published April 29, 2013. Amanda is a Denver-based health, science and lifestyle writer.