YOU DON’T need a Ph.D. in nutrition science to decipher a food label, but in case you’re label-challenged like most of us, just keep the following in mind, and you’ll be navigating your way to better health in no time.
Serving size: Be careful here, because even a small package may contain two or more servings. This means you’ll have to multiply the amounts given – or components such as carbs and fat by the number of servings in order to got totals for the whole package.
Recommended Daily value: According to the Food and Drug Administration, if a food contains 5 percent or less of the Daily Value of a particular nutrient, then the food is low in that nutrient. The FDA recommends choosing foods that together provide no more than 100 percent of the DVs of fat, cholesterol and sodium (note: if a single food choice contains 100 percent of your fat DV, the remaining meals of the day will end up swelling your gut and glutes) and at least 100 percent of the DVS of nutrients such as fiber and calcium. Be aware that the symbol * beside a nutrient means that the FDA hasn’t established a recommended Daily Value for it.
Sugars: Don’t just look at carbohydrate grams. Check how much of that is in the form of sugars, and try to stay away from foods that measure high in sugar content
Supplements: This tells you what kinds of nutrients you’re getting and how much. Check to see if the amount is worthwhile if a food contains HMB or glutamine but in inadequate levels, it’s not going to do you any good.