Reading the label.
Food labels can be very confusing but we all know how important they are. Oftentimes people don’t know what to look for to determine if a product is good for them. We at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating have one very simple trick for reading labels for carbs to help you easily identify if you are getting a good, quality carbohydrate or a highly processed, nutrient-poor carbohydrate. So, here we go…
• First, make sure you look at the Total Carb. The Total Carb includes the
sugar, fiber, and any additional carbohydrates that are in that product.
Many people make the mistake of looking only at Sugars, which is not
giving them an accurate picture of that food and the number of carbohydrates that it contains.
• Next, we want to look at the Fiber. Fiber is often overlooked but is one of
the most important factors when changing your diet to help with weight
loss, lower cholesterol, natural digestion, and blood sugar control. Women
should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target 38
grams daily (or 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively, for those over the age
• Now, here is the most important part! Look for a ratio of 10:1 for carbohydrates: fiber. So, there should be at least 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrate. Generally, if a product has more fiber and meets this rule it will be less processed, have a lower glycemic index, and provide more overall nutrition. If a product does not meet this rule, such as a product with 35 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fiber, it is likely that
this food is highly processed and lower in nutrition. The higher the fiber is
in this ratio, generally, the better the food!
At Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating, we follow the nutrition recommendations of the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to ensure we are providing our customers the right types, amounts, and balance of good carbohydrates.