Dr. Natasha Withers: Reading food labels can help you avoid obvious pitfalls, such as consuming access calories. Food labels also help you observe what you're eating and how it makes you feel on a daily basis.
Here's how you use labels to make your diet healthier. Look at their length, if the ingredient list is longer than five items that product may have unnecessary extras in it, such as artificial preservatives.
Size up serving sizes; packages frequently contain more than a single serving. Multiply all the amounts of the listed to get an accurate picture of how many calories or how much sugar is in the container. Edit out bad fat; partially or hydrogenated fats are trans-fats. These ways LDL bad cholesterol, lower HDL good cholesterol and slow metabolism. Look out for Sodium; the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium is 2300 milligrams per day, one teaspoon or 1500 milligrams per day, if you're over 40 or have hypertension.
Subtract Sugar; to see how much sugar is in foods, convert grams to teaspoons by dividing by 4. For example, 20 grams of sugar equals 5 teaspoons of sugar.
Fill up on Fiber; the American Dietetic Association recommends 25 grams of dietary fiber for adult women and 38 grams for adult men per day. Fiber help prevents swings in blood sugar, keeps your colon healthy and makes you feel full, so you eat less. I'm Dr. Natasha, live well!