La­bel read­ing 101

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - Teresa Flynn Teresa Flynn is a Sobeys di­eti­tian in New Glas­gow.

What is the best skill you can have when nav­i­gat­ing the gro­cery aisles? La­bel read­ing, of course!

It is so im­por­tant to have this skill to be able to make the best food choices for you and your fam­ily.

There are so many prod­ucts in a gro­cery store, with new items be­ing added all the time. It is easy to get con­fused when faced with so many choices.

Here are some tips to help you fill your cart with healthy choices:

The in­gre­di­ent list

The first thing to look at when read­ing a la­bel is the in­gre­di­ent list; it is re­quired by law on pack­aged foods. In­gre­di­ents are listed from most to least, so be sure that the first few in­gre­di­ents are ones you want to be eat­ing!

The Nu­tri­tion Facts Ta­ble

Next, have a look at the Nu­tri­tion Facts Ta­ble. This ta­ble has a con­sis­tent look on prod­ucts and lists calo­ries and sev­eral im­por­tant nu­tri­ents. This is an ex­cel­lent source of in­for­ma­tion when you want to know more about the prod­uct.

Check the serv­ing size first. All nu­tri­ents are based on this amount. And be­ware! This serv­ing size may be more or less than the amount of food you will ac­tu­ally eat.

The % Daily Value (% DV) is a use­ful tool for mak­ing healthy choices. It is a bench­mark for eval­u­at­ing nu­tri­ent con­tent quickly and eas­ily and is very help­ful when com­par­ing prod­ucts. It puts nu­tri­ents on a scale of zero to 100 per cent. For all nu­tri­ents, 5% DV means a lit­tle and 15% DV means a lot. So if it’s a nu­tri­ent you want to eat more of, such as fi­bre, look for 15% DV or more. If it’s a nu­tri­ent you would like to cut back on, such as sodium, look for 5% or less.

Front of pack­age claims

Last but not least, you may see nu­tri­ent con­tent claims on the front of pack­aged prod­ucts. You may see state­ments like “no sugar added,” “fat free” or “light.” Buyer be­ware! Re­mem­ber that the claim only fo­cuses on one nu­tri­ent. You need to read the in­gre­di­ent list and Nu­tri­tion Facts Ta­ble to get the whole pic­ture and judge if the prod­uct is cart wor­thy.

Have more ques­tions on la­bel read­ing? Let us help! Sobeys Di­eti­tians are la­bel read­ing ex­perts and can help you nav­i­gate the gro­cery aisles and choose the best prod­ucts. Visit http://sobeysphar­macy. com/phar­macy-ser­vices/di­eti­tians/ to find a di­eti­tian near you.

Hun­gry for more? Like @ SobeysDi­eti­tian on Face­book and Twit­ter for more tasty tips and recipes or re­ceive our sched­ule of events and Healthy Bits & Bites News­let­ter di­rectly to your in­box! Reg­is­ter at www.sobeysphar­­let­ter.

Nu­tri­tion events

Join me for a la­bel read­ing tour fo­cused on plant-based eat­ing. Ses­sions of­fered on Fri­day, Nov. 16, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Sobeys Aberdeen, or Tues­day, Nov. 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Sobeys West­side. Please con­tact Teresa to reg­is­ter at 902-755-3645 or Teresa.flynn@

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