Apr 23, 2013 9:37 AM by Marissa Torres
Maintaining a healthy diet is easier than you think. Something as simple as checking food labels can give you a better understanding of the amount of fat and calories your taking in on a daily basis.
Getting your diet in check isn't as difficult as you may think. A quick look at a nutrition label will tell you a majority of what you need to know.
"Stay clear of the front of the box, all the eye catching and make the judgments from the food label itself," says Memorial Hospital Dietitian David Egerdahl.
And depending on what dietary guidelines you're trying to follow, you'll want to zero in on different things.
"If you're worried about blood pressure, you'll want to look at sodium and how many milligrams that is. If you're a diabetic, you'll want to look at how many carbohydrates that thing is giving you."
Egerdahl says when it comes to sodium: anything above 300 milligrams is considered high. Below 140mg -- is considered low.
And when it comes to carbs-- sugar count plays a big role.
"You've got to look at the ingredients. The sugar added, what kind of sugar? is it honey, is it fructose corn syrup, is it real sugar. and that's going to show up as sugar. but so is lactose, which is naturally in milk so is fructose, which is naturally in fruit."
Egerdahl says people should stay between 45-65 grams of total sugar a day. Fat content is another big one.
"When it comes to a low fat product, its going to be less than 5 grams; and that's for total fat."
And pay special attention to the saturated fat and trans fat. Both have been linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.