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How to read labels…

Registered Holistic Nutrition

How to read labels…


When I became interested in the power of food on overall well-being, I became obsessed with reading labels.  I’m pretty good at it now and have even got my kids doing the same…but even now, a quick glance at this picture makes me want to look away…and not bother.   It’s complicated!

And that is why it is best to simply eat food in it’s natural form as often as possible.  When you do decide to purchase a processed product, there are 3 simple rules you can follow:

1. Try to stick with foods that have less than 5 ingredients.

2. Sugar should not be in the top 3.

3. You should be able to pronounce all ingredients on the list

Read on for more info on what labels actually mean…

  • Food labels should list ingredients, calories, and nutritional content per serving.
  • Ingredients should be listed in order of descending volume
  • Serving sizes vary according to food manufacturers
    • The word ‘free’ means that a product will contain only a tiny amount of a specific ingredient
  • ‘Fat Free’ means that the product contains less than.5 grams of fat per serving
  • The word ‘low’ is only relevant in relation to the dietary guidelines for a specific product.  ‘Low in fat’ means no more than 3 grams of fat per serving, ‘low calorie’ means no more than 40 calories per serving
  • The words ‘lean’ and ‘extra lean’ are used for meat and fish products.  ‘Lean’ means less than 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per serving.  ‘extra lean’ products have less than 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat,  and 95 mg of cholesterol per serving
  • The terms ‘fewer’, ‘less’, or ‘reduced’ indicate 25 % less of a nutrient or calories than the regular product
  • The words ‘lite’ or ‘light’ indicate that a product contains 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2 less fat than the original.  ‘light in sodium’ means amount is reduced by half
  • ‘More’ mean that one serving of food has at least 10% more than the RDA of vitamin, mineral or fiber per serving
  • ‘Good Source Of’ mean that a food contains 10 to 19 % of the RDA of vitamin, mineral and fiber
  • ‘High’ indicates that the product contains 20% or more of the RDA of vitamins, minerals or fiber per serving.

Not sure if you are getting what you need?  Call the office to have a nutritionist filter this info for you and get you on the right plan.