Many foods may advertise being fat or sugar free, low fat, reduced fat, all natural, heart healthy, no trans fat, etc. Knowing what these labels mean will significantly aid in healthy food selection. Reading and understanding nutrition labels is the main focus when choosing healthy foods. Start by noting the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package. Next check the total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you’re actually consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the Percent Daily Value (% DV). You need to limit total fat to no more than 56–78 grams a day, including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol (for a 2,000 calorie diet). Get enough of the good, beneficial nutrients and get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you will need every day.
The Nutrition Facts label is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on most packaged foods and beverages. The Nutrition Facts label provides detailed information about a food's nutrient content, such as the amount of fat, sodium and fiber it has. Knowing how to read food labels is especially important if you have health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or need to reduce fat intake (in order to aid in weight loss) and need to follow a special diet. It also makes it easier to compare similar foods to see which a healthier choice is. The more practice you get reading food labels, the better you can become in using them as a tool to plan your healthy, balanced diet.
Many foods that are less expensive; chips, pop, fast food, etc are also less nutritious. These foods contain little to no vitamins, minerals, fiber or protein. Many individuals argue that they cannot afford healthy produce, yet will use the convenience of drive through fast food multiple times a week. Prices on produce, even locally grown produce, rise yearly, even seasonally. Stores like Whole Foods and organic sections in local stores are normally double or triple the prices of regular produce.
The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are processed and grown. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as "organic". Organic crops must be grown in safe