How to read a Label: Part 1

By Laura Kelly-Pifer

I can remember the first time I learned how to read a label.

Because of the kind of work I was in at the time, working for a Commercial Label Printing Company, I knew the importance of the label being printed with accuracy.  But, I never took it any further.   My job was to work with the client and to ensure that the label order was printed correctly and delivered on time.  I never “dove” into the how and why behind it.

So, while I was at a group weight loss support meeting held at my work, our leader broke it down for us.  She made it as simple as she could.  Thank goodness!  Today, I am going to do the same!

Serving Sizes – You want to look here to see how much of a portion you are really eating.  Don’t get tricked into eating more or if you do, be aware of how many calories you are really eating.  I don’t know how many times I ate something and then looked at the label and ate more than what a serving size should have been.  Then, my calculation would be totally off for the day.  Many times, single serving foods are broken into 2 servings to show fewer calories.

Calories – Food contains calories and a calorie is the actual measurement of how much energy you get from a single serving.  You’ll add these up throughout the day to give you your total calorie count.

Dietary Fiber – Fiber contains zero calories.  It also helps with regularity.  Your daily diet should contain at least 25 grams of dietary fiber.

Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium – You’ll want to limit your consumption of these items as much as possible.  Unfortunately, these items lead to various health risks such as obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Daily values footnote – This is a recommendation based on a diet of 2,000 calories or 2,500 calories per day.  You want to make sure that these values match your daily caloric needs.

Does any of this help?  It did for me.  I was better educated about what I was putting into my body.  Whether it’s processed or not, every kind of food has nutritional value.  And because of learning a few simple things, I was able to make better food choices.  In my next post, I’ll be discussing more about food labels and what to look for.  Be sure to come back for Part 2!


Laura Kelly-Pifer is a Fitness Coach who strives to help others by giving hope and support to those that are dissatisfied with their current situation. Whether you are lacking physically, emotionally, financially, or nutritionally she is here to help you see REAL RESULTS!

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