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Understanding food labels

How to understand what food labels really mean

One way to watch the calories, fat, and sugar that your family may get from a certain food item is to read the Nutrition Facts label found on most food and beverages. Always pay special attention to:

  1. Serving size. All nutrition information is based on 1 serving—in this case, 1/2 cup. If you use 1 cup, that is twice the amount per serving.
  2. Ingredients list. Ingredients are listed on the label in order from highest amount to lowest amount by weight.
  3. Calories
  4. Total fat
  5. Sugar content. If you see sugar (or another name that means sugar) in the first 4-5 ingredients, it’s worth thinking about a different choice, like one that’s sugar-free or reduced-sugar.

What are some other names for sugar?