So you may already know that a healthy diet contains 30 percent fat or less, but how can you apply this guideline when grocery shopping?
Well, the choices you make at the grocery store are an integral part of your lifestyle. And, like I mentioned previously, reading labels is the most helpful tool for determining the fat con¬tent of foods you see on the store shelves. However, food labeling practices have been inconsistent, leaving many consumers confused and frustrated.
The components of food labels are required to include the following:
- Serving sizes that realistically reflect the amount an average person actually eats. Previously, a manufacturer could reduce the portion size to make a food qualify as low-calorie.
- The number of calories per gram of fat (including a breakdown specifically for saturated fat), carbohydrate and protein should be listed as well as the number of grams of fiber.
- The "% Daily Value" shows the consumer how this food fits into an overall healthy diet. For instance, one serving of this product provides 20% of the recommended fat intake for a 2,000 calorie diet.
And, at the bottom of the label are guidelines for what constitutes a healthy diet.
Of course, balance is the key to your decision-making. Sometimes even low-fat recipes may call for ingredients which are higher than the recommended 30 percent fat or a completed recipe may end up higher than 30 percent. Your goal is to shoot for an average of 30 percent fat over the course of the day or week.
Plan a weekly menu that is low in fat and build your shopping list around that menu. Once your menu is planned, head to the grocery store with a detailed list, naming specific items and amounts.
With a well-planned menu, detailed shopping list, calculator and some nutritional savvy, you can translate your new knowledge into a cart full of healthy food choices that will satisfy all the members of your family.
As always – Live Your Life Well,
John Aaron Villarreal
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cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.