First what do you need from the information on the label?
- At the top: Serving size is important. Does this serving allow you to eat ¼ cup, 10 pieces, or the whole package to get the nutrition listed on this label?
- What are your concerns about the contents? Do you have heart disease or diabetes? Do you want to eat healthier foods? Are you trying to minimize your calorie or sugar intake? Are you trying to eat high protein or low protein?
- What does that % Daily Values mean to you—if you have heart disease look at the sodium, this 1 cup of food gives you 1/5 of your whole days sodium intake allowed—that may be too high for your health unless it is the only high sodium food you eat that day.
If you to eat healthy, look the carbohydrate section. The sugars are the sugars that are part of the structure of the food BUT much of the time, they are just added sugars to make the product sweeter and to make it sell better.
If you want to eat to lose weight or if you are diabetic, then you need to look at total carbohydrates and fiber. Fiber is very important for your gut’s health. To find the net carbohydrates you take the total carbohydrates and subtract the fiber. So, for the above 31 (grams total) minus zero (grams of fiber) = 31 grams.
Your body will convert ALL the net carbohydrates into blood sugar (blood glucose). This 1 cup serving will increase your body’s blood sugar the same as eating 6 teaspoons of sugar.
What about the protein? If you are choosing the food for its ability to make you full and give you a source of protein, the total grams of protein should be higher than the total grams of net carbohydrate (preferably much higher).
For total carbohydrates, this label shows this food serving gives you 1 /10 of your daily recommended carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the FDA guideline are not written for weight loss or diabetics. Their standard has the percent of carbohydrate calories a day at 55% of your daily intake. People with the diseases of either Diabetes or Obesity need to keep their carbohydrate intake down a much lower.