Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Deconstructing Food Labels in 8 Easy Steps

Deconstructing Food Labels in 8 Easy Steps


When you put together your new bedframe, I bet you read all the instructions before slapping all the pieces together—either that or you had to take it apart mid-assembly and start over again. With any new piece of furniture, form of technology, or mechanical item, you’d do the same, read the instructions first. So why do a large majority of North Americans put food in their bodies without even scanning food labels? It seems logical, right?

From calories to carbohydrates, and from proteins to sodium levels, let’s take some time to properly deconstruct a typical food label and consider the nutritional content of the foods we’re eating…

 

1. Food Labels: The Big Picture

Considering food labels, or foods you’re about to scarf down, should be approached, firstly, in a broad sense. For example, if you’re watching what you eat or trying to shed a few pounds, your doctor or nutritionist will likely recommend creating a daily meal plan that consists of all the calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, sodium, vitamins, and nutrients you’ll need for the entire day based on things like your age, weight, activity level, and more.

This is why, when you initially scan any food label, you should do so with consideration of how that food item will fit into your eating for the entire day. This big picture approach to eating will determine what the food offers as far as caloric, carbohydrate, protein, vitamin, and mineral intake for the entire day, and help you decide if it’s a healthy food worth eating.

Next »
ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 10 Common Diet Traps
    Most diets are started with the best of intentions. Whether to lose weight, improve overall health, feel better or increase your self-esteem and energy.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Tips to Avoid Long Weekend Weight Gain
    With pending statutory long weekends ahead (this Monday is the Victoria Day long weekend for Canadians while the May 30th is Memorial Day for Americans), it's easy to get caught up...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Things You Need To Know About Fasting
    Fasting is an ancient religious practice that may have some surprising benefits for modern health.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Fear Fat
    For years, fat was the scourge of the dietary universe. An entire generation of overweight people trained themselves to excise all fat from their diet in hope of slimming down.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Easy Ways To Drink More Water in a Day
    Winter is the season of snow, the season of gift giving, the season of celebrating new beginnings, but it’s also the season of dehydration, which leads to fatigue, dull hair, dry...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Tips for Beating Portion Distortion
    Weight loss is on a lot of minds once the New Year rolls around. However, with food manufacturers and restaurants pushing portion distortion—a phenomenon in which mass society...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Alkaline Diet's Health Claims Overblown, Experts Say
    Interested in giving the "alkaline" diet a try this year? You're not alone. The celebrity diet is becoming increasingly popular.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The True Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting
    You’re not alone, if like many folks, you struggle with gaining and losing those few excess pounds.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Ways Alcohol is Completely Ruining Your Diet!
    Studies consistently show that alcohol ruins even the best intended diets. In fact, an innocent night of celebrating with a few cocktails can set you back 1,000 calories—just...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 15 Tasty Snacks That Weigh in Under 100 Calories
    Did someone say mid day snack attack? Snaking has a bad rap, but not all snacks are created sugary, fatty, and calorie-laden.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 9 Benefits of a High Protein Diet
    Arguably, high protein diets are also low-carbohydrate (or low carb) diets due to the fact that they restrict carbohydrates and place the bulk of nourishment on consuming...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Things to Know About a Mediterranean Diet
    You probably didn’t start your day trekking across a white-washed beach and diving off a rocky cliff into the sparkling azure sea below.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
    If you attend your family Thanksgiving dinner in elastic pants—you obviously don’t have much concern for calories.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Reasons You Should Be Eating Carbohydrates
    It’s a total myth that carbohydrates cause weight gain. Of course, eating too much of any food in excess can cause you to put on pounds, particularly if you consume a plethora of...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The 10 Best Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
    Most people decide to go on a diet and immediately eliminate carbohydrates. However, while white bread, white pasta, and baked goods with white refined flour might sabotage your...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice