Nutritional labels can get very confusing, very quickly. Today, we're going to breakdown which facts you need to be paying the most attention to and why they're important.
Why are nutrition facts important and why do a I need to know how to read them?
Nutritional facts can be found on just about every piece of food that you purchase. They allow us to see what exactly were putting into our body, and how much of the item you should consume daily to ensure you're consuming the proper calories and macronutrients.
The first thing to look at when reading a nutrition label is the serving size. This can typically be found at the very top of the list in the form of a measurement. This is important to consider, since the serving size will alter the rest of the stats.
For example, let's take a look at this Protein Cookie label:
Highlighted in green is the serving size statement. As you can see there are '2 servings per container' aka every number and fact listed is ONLY for HALF (or 56.5 g) of this cookie. If you didn't look at the serving size and ate the whole cookie, you would think you only consumed 180 calories, when in reality you consumed 360 calories. For an accurate calorie/nutrition count, you would have to measure out all of your food (or at least closely estimate) based on its serving size.
Once you find the serving size and measure out the proper portion for your goals, now it's time to look at the macronutrients. Macronutrients, macros for short, are the main components of food that we need in high quantity. The three most essential macros are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You can find all 3 in bold lettering on most labels. Let's break each component down...