Reading Food Labels

Get the facts on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.

Since it is mandatory that both the amount of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol in a food be listed on the Nutrition Fact Panel on the label (see the label below), it is relatively easy to keep track of your intake:

The Nutrition Fact Panel chart above provides an instant reminder of the upper limit of saturated fat and cholesterol that you should be consuming in your diet. The percent of the Daily Value that is listed on the upper portion of the food label is yet another way to gauge how much saturated fat and cholesterol are in the foods that you buy and eat.

  • If a serving of a food item provides 20 percent or more of these substances, it is considered a "high" source.

  • If it provides 5 percent or less of the Daily Value, it is considered a "low" source.

Limiting the amount of foods that are high, or provide 20 percent or more of the Daily Value, in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol will help you limit these in your diet.

 

Joan Salge Blake, M.S., R.D., L.D.N. is a nutrition professor at Boston University and a nationally known writer, lecturer, and nutrition expert.

Keep Reading

Next Up

50 Punch Recipes

Get dozens of punch-bowl recipes for your next big bash.

50 Summer Drinks

Drink up! Food Network Magazine made enough sodas, shakes and cocktails to last all season.

Fright Potions and Punch for Halloween

I often advise people to find one of the many wines available with scary names: Sin Zin, Dead Arm or Devil’s Lair. Or whip up a big-batch wine that is sure to give your guests the creeps.

How to Make the Best Ice Cream Soda You’ll Ever Sip Through a Straw

If you have a hankering for an ice cream parlor treat, nothing beats an ice cream soda. All you need is a straw (or two), a glass, ice cream, soda and syrup, and you've got the makings of one of the great ice cream classics.

Bobby Flay's Top Ten Grilling Tips

The grilling guru shares his secrets to all-star steak.

Winning Pickle Recipe

A Texas reader's twist on chips and dip came out on top in our pickle-themed contest.

On the Line with Bobby Flay at Bar Americain

At the restaurant that inspired his latest cookbook, Bobby Flay shows Food Network Magazine his other life as a working chef—and his unlikely rise to the top.

50 Ideas for Frozen Fries

Turn a bag of spuds into super-fun party foods.

Game Day On the Road: New York and New Jersey

Celebrate the Super Bowl on the road with Food Network's play-by-play of delicious restaurant dishes from New York and New Jersey.
More from:

Heart-Healthy Foods

Latest Stories