Eating Right Just Got Easier

Around the country, healthy eating is the focus in March. We can find good tips and food ideas all month.

Almost all that we eat, unless it’s fresh food, has a label on it. The label is our map to eating healthier and making better choices.

Let’s take a stroll looking at the food label. These tips are from the American Dietetic Assoc. at www.eatright.org.

Start with the Serving Size

  • Look here for both the serving size (the amount people more often eat at one time) and the number of servings in the package.
  • Compare the amount of food to the serving size listed on the panel. If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other things listed on the label.

Check Out the Total Calories

  • Find out how many calories are in a single serving. It's smart to cut back on calories if you are watching your weight.

Limit Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Sodium

Eating less saturated fat, added sugars and sodium may help lessen your risk for chronic disease.

  • Saturated fat is linked to a risk of heart issues.
  • Eating too much added sugar makes it hard to meet all the needs of your body and not eat too many calories.
  • High levels of sodium can add up to high blood pressure.

Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

  • Eat more fiber, potassium, vitamin D, calcium and iron to keep good health. It also helps to lessen your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis.
  • Choose more fruits and veggies to get more of those things that are good for you.

About Other Things on the Label

  • Protein
    Eat right sized servings of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Enjoy beans and peas, peanut butter, seeds and soy products too.
  • Carbohydrates
    There are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber. Eat whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta plus fruits and veggies.
  • Sugars
    Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, are normal in foods such as fruit juice (fructose) and milk (lactose). Some come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup. Added sugars will be part of the Nutrition Facts Label in 2018.

Watch the Ingredient List

Foods with more than one ingredient must have them all listed on the label. Food items are listed by weight, biggest to smallest. Those in the largest amounts are listed first.

Use the food label to help you live healthier. For more ideas on living well, call Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573. Visit our website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.