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.

Next Up

The One Big-Batch Drink I Make All Summer Long

It's bright, it's refreshing and it's a crowd pleaser on a hot day.

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.

What Are Hush Puppies?

Plus, how to make homemade hush puppies and what to serve with them.

Inside a Cup of Turkish Coffee, You Can Find Much More Than Your Fortune

Telling fortunes from coffee ground patterns is a centuries-old tradition. But for Melis Aydoğan, the grounds paved the way for so much more.

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.

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.

What Is a Chimichanga?

This crunchy Mexican-American favorite is the perfect vehicle for all your culinary creativity.

Bobby Flay's Top Ten Grilling Tips

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

50 Ideas for Frozen Fries

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

Heart-Healthy Foods

Latest Stories

Related Pages