How to Read a Nutrition Label
When looking to embrace a healthy diet, it all starts with being informed. Fortunately, it’s easy to find the information you need to make the best choices for you and your family. With the nutrition label posted on each Kellogg’s cereal box, you can see exactly what goes in — and what you can expect to get out of — every Kellogg’s cereal.
From the Top
Serving size is important. And it’s the first place we all should start when reading a nutrition label. Why? Well, just like a good story, it helps to set the scene and paints a vivid nutritional picture of what you can expect to find.
When you begin with the serving size, you know exactly what you’re getting — the calories, the fat, the protein, everything. So if you choose to eat more, or even less, than the recommended serving, you’ll have a good understanding of what that means for your health and well-being.
Fuel the day
We all need calories. From calories comes energy. So we look to get enough calories to keep us healthy and energized. But if we consume more calories than our body needs for the day, it can lead to weight gain.
The number of calories per serving is derived from three main sources — total fat, total carbohydrates and protein.
Fat is an important nutrient that every body needs for growth and development. But experts contend that too much fat — especially saturated and trans fats — can be bad for heart health. Fortunately, these fats are easily identified on every label, so you can make smart, informed decisions about the foods you eat.
Carbohydrates help fuel the body. And of all the different types of carbohydrates there are, fiber is one of the most important. It’s recommended that most adults try to get at least 25 grams of fiber every day. And when you “flip for fiber” — turn the box to read the nutritional label — you can quickly see if the cereal you enjoy is a good source of fiber (at least 3 grams, or 10 percent, Daily Value per serving) or an excellent source of fiber (at least 5 grams, or 20 percent, Daily Value per serving).
Protein provides the building blocks for the body and is essential in helping to form and repair muscles, blood and organs. So with the right amount of protein, you’re better prepared to take on the day.
A Strong Finish
Toward the bottom of each label you’ll find the percentage of vitamins and minerals that accompany every serving, with a higher percentage indicating that there is more of a vitamin or mineral in that food.
These vitamins and minerals serve many functions in your body. And to help keep it working properly, you need a variety of these nutrients.
Of course, the best way to get a diverse and dynamic mix of vitamins and minerals is to eat a variety of foods; of which a balanced, get-you-going breakfast, complete with a nutritious Kellogg’s cereal, can be a very important part.
A New View on Nutrition
While the Nutrition Facts panel is a great way to help you determine the overall nutritional values of certain foods, GDAs (Guideline Daily Amounts) are a front-of-the-box snapshot of the most important nutrients found in each Kellogg’s cereal box.
GDAs are not new recommendations or standards for the way you should eat. Instead, they’re simply a new way to look at and think about Daily Values, which are reference amounts set by the government and based on current advice from public health experts.
Of the values shown, four nutrients — calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar — are a constant on every cereal package. In addition, each product highlights up to two additional nutrients: fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C or E, nutrients that have been identified as ones that many Americans could use more of in their diets.
Certainly GDAs are in no way a replacement for the Nutrition Facts panel, but they are another helpful way to make it easier for you to make more informed decisions when standing in the cereal aisle.