Nutrition Labels – Which Nutrients to Limit

Nutrition Labels 6-3-2014

Nutrition labels may seem confusing, but they’re really not hard to understand once you know the basics. And reading them can help you make quick, smart food choices. A nutrition label can help you get more of the healthful nutrients you need each day. It can also help you minimize your intake of the less healthful ones.

These are some nutrients shown on the nutrition label that you should try to limit each day:

  • Total fat – This is the total amount of fat in each serving, measured in grams.
  • Trans fat and saturated fat – These types of fat may cause heart disease and aren’t the best choice for a healthy diet. Try to avoid these unhealthy fats.
  • Cholesterol – Too much cholesterol in your diet is a risk factor for heart disease. Try to get fewer than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
  • Sodium – Too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure and other health problems. Aim to get no more than 2,300 mg per day. Many people would benefit from limiting their sodium intake to no more than 1,500 mg per day. Talk with your doctor about how much sodium is healthy for you.
  • Sugars – Some foods, like fruit, have natural sugars, which are a source of energy. But refined sugar adds calories to your food without adding nutrition. Try to limit foods that list added sugars, such as corn syrup, in their ingredients.