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Nutrition Label Mistakes

By Sara Butler

The nutrition label is your friend -- and your secret weapon in the fight to stay healthy. But reading the nutrition label can sometimes feel like a foreign language. There’s just so much information packed into a small space it can be difficult to know what it’s trying to communicate. Here are a few mistakes you might be making in your pursuit of better health when reading the nutrition label.

You Don’t Read the Label

Just looking at the front of the package and seeing buzzwords like “whole grain” or “organic” aren’t enough to ensure something is healthy for you and fits into your dietary goals. If you base your purchase on the flashy claims on the front of the package, then you’re doing yourself a real disservice. Read the label and know what to look for to make sure you’re really getting a product that is good for your overall health.

Ignoring Serving Sizes

If you pick up a bag of chips and think after a glance at the nutrition label that it only contains 120 calories, then you’re doing it wrong. People don’t look at the information provided about serving sizes enough because it’s likely that bag of chips has 12 servings in it -- which is a lot more than just 120 calories.

It’s crucial to look at serving sizes to determine if something really fits into your diet. A serving may not have a lot of calories, but the actual serving size itself may not be enough to keep you satisfied -- so pay attention.

Not Checking Ingredients

The ingredients on the nutrition label are listed according to weight, so the more of something there is in the product, the higher it will be on the ingredients list. You shouldn’t look at only the first few ingredients but read through them all. This will clue you in about whether or not what’s in the food actually match up with the claims on the packaging, such as whole grains.

Ignoring Fiber

Fiber is really important for your body to stay healthy, but many Americans don’t get nearly enough of it. Make sure to look at the amount of dietary fiber in the product you’re buying. Men need about 38 grams of fiber per day while women need about 25 grams.

Don't make these mistakes. Instead, learn how the nutrition label can help you reach your health and wellness goals. And then take advantage of it. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla.

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