Food Labels
Reading Food Labels

Most packaged and processed foods have nutritional information on the label. This information is essential to help you make reasonable food choices and you should make a real effort to become familiar with food labeling so that you can make the choices that are appropriate for you.

Ingredient List:

Ingredients are listed in descending order of the amount present. That is, if SUGAR is the first ingredient, there is more sugar than anything else in this package, and it may cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar. Foods which have sugar as the first or second ingredient should be eaten only in small quantities or other foods should be substituted.

Nutrition Facts:

Many foods have a nutrition facts label as below:

  • Nutrition Facts
  • Food description
  • Serving size (the ingredients are for the serving size listed, this may not be what you consider a normal serving so you may have to do some arithmetic)
  • Amount per serving (make sure when you make comparisons that you are comparing the same serving size)
  • Calories and Calories from Fat (this is important, you want to get the least possible calories from fat)
  • % of daily value

Dietary Fibre:

This is the part of a plant which cannot be digested. It is important to the diabetic because fiber:

  • Slows the rise in glucose levels after meals
  • lowers cholesterol
  • Decreases insulin needs