How To Read Food Labels to Lower Your Cholesterol

Food labels are labels found at the back of food products.  They contain nutritional facts and help you keep a balanced diet.  By taking time out to read food labels, you will discover how you can lower your cholesterol and maintain a healthy cholesterol reading.  Just follow these steps on how to decode them correctly.

  • What you will need.  If you use reading glasses, which is about all you will need to be able to read the food labels.  Otherwise, patience would be another factor.  It’s for your health anyway so doing get discouraged reading those food labels.
  • Locate the food label.  You can find most food labels at the back of a product’s packaging.  It is usually in black and white print and has all these information written on it.
  • Size of servings.  It’s important to find out how much servings a certain product contains.  Why?  Because your appetite might be bigger than what is considered a normal serving size for a particular product.  What you may assume is for one serving might surprisingly be good for three!  Therefore, if you consume three servings, automatically multiply the numeric information on the label.  That’s why it is a must to check the serving size.  This information is usually printed right under as what is stated as nutrition facts.
  • Calories.  Another important item to consider when trying lowering your cholesterol is calories.  
  • Fat content.  You also have to include total fat count on the label.  Fat isn’t necessarily just the lard or meat from animals (known as saturated fat).  It can also be found in cooking oil like palm and coconut.  Trans fat, which is similar to saturated, is an ingredient in snacks (chips and cookies) and shortening.  Unfortunately, trans fat and saturated fat is known to give high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).  This is why you should monitor that, at 1000 calories, 7% only comes from these fats.  Good news is that there is fat that is also considered good and these are the omega 3, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  You will be pleased to know that the latter actually aids in protecting your heart and in lowering your cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol.  Last but not the least, what you should check out on the nutrition label, is cholesterol especially since you are trying to lower it.  The recommended intake is 200 milligrams per day.  Cholesterol is a fat, waxy mass that is found in all parts of our body.  It is something our body needs to be able to function but too much cholesterol is harmful and can clog our arteries thus giving us heart disease.

    Again, do not forget to multiply the number by the servings!  A food product may be considered low when its cholesterol count is 20 milligrams or if counted as saturated fat, then at least 2 grams.

  • Carbohydrates.  Now, examine the food label and locate total carbohydrates.  The acceptable number for healthy eating is 45-65%.  

The perks of being able to decode food labels is that they all follow a standard, meaning if you study one, it is pretty much the same nutritional information for all.  Without knowing it, you will automatically be making wiser, healthier decisions for your heart.


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