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Deconstructing Food Labels in 8 Easy Steps

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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.

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