How to Read Labels

There are two types of labels one must read when shopping for quality packaged food. The first is the nutrition label, which compares the product's nutrition with that of the recommended Daily Values. Aside from serving size, servings per container, and calorie content, the rest is categorized by fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins.

Equally as important as the Nutrition Label is the Ingredient Label. That's the label most people neglect to read, though they may carefully compare Nutrition Labels between products. Though the Ingredient Label can often be vague (especially when it comes to that ominous catch-all phrase "natural flavors"), it's an important tool for determining what foods are healthy or not.

Nutrition Labels:

Nutrition Facts: Reading the Food Label — This is from the Mayo Clinic website. The sample Nutrition Label has a mouse over effect, so that indicated sections will reveal what to look for in that category.

How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label — This is from the US FDA website, which gives step by step instructions on reading a label. The label is color-coded for easy reference.

Nutrition Data — This site has a little of everything in way of nutrition. Besides an guide on how to read Nutrition Labels, they have a BMI & Daily Needs Calculator, to determine what amount of nutrients are needed for your gender, age, weight, and activity level. A big feature on this site is the Nutrition Facts and Analysis for many food products, which gives more than just the product's Nutrition Label.

Ingredient Labels:

Food Labels: Nutrition Information and Misinformation — This covers both Nutrition and Ingredients labels, but focuses more on the Ingredients aspect.

What to Look for on Labels:

Food Nutrition Labels: Six Catches You Need to Know — From the website.

How Food Manufacturers Trick Consumers with Deceptive Ingredients — From Natural News website.