Whitney’s Kitchen Blog

Reading Labels

Posted on August 24th, 2017 by Piccarreto
Many of us after choosing to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, become label readers. Yet, do we really have any clue what we are reading?! I know I didn’t!
Did you know that if a packaged food has less than 0.5 grams of saturated fat in the serving size on the label, they can claim it contains NO saturated fat? Now, take a look at the serving size. If you plan to eat more than 1 serving you better read more of that label!

I try to eat fresh and homemade as much as I can. Like most folks, I still have my favorite grab & go’s. Triscuit being my absolute love when it comes to crunch cravings.

My #1 Triscuit flavor is the Dill, Sea Salt. On the label it claims 120 calories per serving. The serving size is 6 crackers. If I look at my calories from fat (35) I can figure out the percentage from fat per serving. 35/120 = 29%! Yikes! 29% from fat and only 6 crackers?!

Another word to watch for is Sodium. Many of us eat way too much sodium. My Triscuits have 170mg per serving. Doesn’t seem bad, but how many of us will eat only 6 crackers? If I eat 12 or 18, I’m already halfway to my daily recommendation!

Numbers aside, it is also important to READ ALL INGREDIENTS! Don’t blindly trust the words on the box claiming ‘Vegan’, ‘Reduced Sodium’ or ‘Fat Free’. You probably assume I am also going to tell you to beware of high fructose corn syrup (and yes, I am!), but watch too for the word oil. ANY type of oil. If it is listed in those first 3-5 ingredients you may wish to rethink your choice. What is the second ingredient is in my delicious example snack? Vegetable oil. BOO!

There is still a lot to learn when it comes to reading labels. Perhaps this will help give some of you a jumping off point. Above all else, remember, packages can be very misleading if the serving size is small enough! Grab a calculator and check your cabinets. Then… maybe grab some celery next time you need food with “crunch”.