During colder months, the limited availability of fresh produce can lead us to rely more on canned, frozen, and pre-packaged foods. But how can you continue to be health-conscious when choosing pre-packaged products?
De-coding the label
“When reading food labels, I always tell clients to start at the top with the serving size,” says Alicia Buterbaugh, RD, certified diabetes educator with Kettering Health Network. “A lot of people neglect looking at the serving size, which may be different than a person’s portion size. If the serving size is half a cup, and someone eats a full cup, then they need to double the information on the nutritional label.”
Next, look at percent daily values (DV) of certain ingredients. In general, explains Alicia, five percent or less is a low amount of an ingredient, while 20 percent or higher is considered high.
Try to ensure that you consume low amounts—less than 100% of the DV—of these ingredients:
Take a look at the nutrients at the bottom of the food label, and choose foods that are higher—20 percent DV or more—in these ingredients:
Fresh produce is the best first choice when choosing fruits and vegetables. In the absence of fresh produce, remember:
For more guidance in food choices for a healthy lifestyle, contact our Diabetes & Nutrition Center at (937) 401-4588 or visit ketteringhealth.org/diabetes