Sample Reading a Food Label Worksheet
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 Reading a Food Label By Phyllis Naegeli

1     Reading a food label can be an easy task, if you know what you are doing. Food labels contain "Nutrition Facts" such as serving size, servings per container, and calories. Most food labels will also list the calories per gram of the different nutrients in foods. These nutrients such as protein, fats, and carbohydrates contain different amounts of calories in each gram. This is important in determining the number of calories from fats, carbohydrates, or protein that you are consuming. Proteins and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, while fats contain nine calories per gram. The percentages in these and other sections shown on the food label are based on a 2000 calorie per day diet. As this is an average figure, it's best to determine your percentages based on your own diet.

2     The first thing to consider is the serving size. The calories shown on the label are per serving size. Many snack foods come packaged with more than one serving. Therefore, if you intend to eat the "whole thing" multiply the number of servings in the package by the calories to determine just how much you are eating. For example:

 You grab a package of peanut butter crackers from the vending machine for a snack. The food label states there are 2 servings per package. Each serving contains 95 calories. If you eat the whole package, how many calories will you consume?

3     The next item to consider is calories from fat. It's important to keep our percentage of calories from fat under 30% on a daily basis. To determine the fat percentages of a particular food, divide the fat calories by the total calories. Here's an example to compute the fat calories:

 You choose to have a Snickers bar for a snack today. If the total calories are 275 and the total calories from fat are 125, what is the fat percentage? Round your answer.

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