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Food Labels Explained

You need to understand how to read a Nutritioal Information label to caluclate PointsPlus values for any food or recipe...

Here is a sample label that I will use to explain...

Looking at the label on the left here's what you need to know:

1. The term "Nutrition Facts" is the newest label term and tells you it is an up to date legit label

2. Serving size tells you how much is a single serving. You need to be sure to count how many of these servings you use in a recipe!

(2b). Just below serving size is "Servings Per Container." In a recipe if you use a whole can of something you need to account for that many servings in the recipe. In this case 4.**

3. Calories - The old points system used this to calculate points BUT the new PointsPlus program DOES NOT!! I kept it in my spreadsheets for reference.

4. % Daily Value is explained on the label and not used in calculating PointsPlus.

5. Total Fat - This is the fat grams PER SERVING. DO NOT confure with calories from fat above it!!

6. Saturated Fat - Not used for PointsPlus but best to keep this low or 0!

7 &8. Not used in PointsPlus but try to keep that sodium low. The Mayo Clinic says: "According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
* Don't exceed 2,300 mg of sodium a day if you're a healthy adult.
* Don't exceed 1,500 mg of sodium a day if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes; you are black; or you're middle-aged or older.

9. Carbohydrates - These are a major part of PointsPlus calculation Listed per serving.

10. Dietary Fiber - Under the new program Fiber is no longer limited to 4g when calculating PointsPlus so more is better!!

9. Sugars (this is not used for PPlus)

11. Protein - Need to use this in your calculation. Remember PER SERVING!!

** if you want to be VERY accurate with counting servings, which may be good since some foods say "about 3 1/2" or something like it,
Then you should divide the total amount of the food by the amount per serving making sure to use the same unit of measure (like Grams)


1 can Pumpkin = "About 3 1/2 Servings

Each serving is 122g

The entire can is 425g

422 divided by 122 = 3.4836 which rounds to 3.5


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