Nutrition labels are on food packaging to help you make healthy, informed choices about what you eat — yet most of us don’t bother to take a look. A University of Minnesota study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that, in a mock grocery shopping exercise, only 9% of more than 200 participants checked the calorie counts for most items they planned to buy. In the same study, a mere 1% almost always scanned for total fat, trans fat, sugar and serving size.
Don’t worry, becoming a label-reader doesn’t mean you’ll spend all day roaming the supermarket aisles. Here are 9 simple steps that can help you get a quick read — so you can quickly toss the right foods in your cart, shove the wrong ones back on the shelf and head to the checkout knowing exactly what you’re eating.