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Episode 81: Reading Food Labels The Right Way


Episode 81: Reading Food Labels The Right Way


Do you struggle with understanding what the numbers and percentages on the food labels really mean? If yes, then fret not. You are not alone. I’ve been there myself and was so frustrated with this ‘information overload’ on the nutrition label, that I decided to invite a dietician with me today to discuss how to read food labels the right way.

Prajakta Apte is a registered dietitian and a registered yoga teacher. She practices functional nutrition and has a nutritional consulting business. Prajakta strongly believes that food has healing power and the right food choices and healthy lifestyle help you connect your body and mind. Her area of interest is gut health and nutrition and how to use nutrition to improve your gut health.



Key Highlights: 

Tune in to my conversation with Prajakta Apte and learn:

  • How nutrition labels came into existence
  • How these nutrition labels have evolved over time
  • The major updates in these labels that were done recently
  • What you need to understand about the percentage daily value on the nutrition label
  • Prajakta walks us through reading the food label and what each section means
  • How to navigate through the list of ingredients on a food label


How to Read the Nutrition Facts Labels:


  1. Serving sizeSometimes a food packet may have several servings which may not be apparent just by looking at the packet. Being aware of the serving size will help you better understand how much to consume.
  2. Total carbohydratesYou want to keep that number as low as you can. A good guide for that is to look at the percentage value listed next to the gram number of total carbohydrates. Generally, if that number is below 10%, it is considered that food is not loaded with carbohydrates.
  3. Total sugarsThis is the total sugar content in the food including the added and natural sugars. This number is already added into total carbohydrates, hence it is not in addition to the carbohydrate value mentioned.
  4. Added sugars Choose a product that does not have added sugar in it. But if there is added sugar, then try to look for the product that says below 5% added sugar.
  5. Ingredient listKeep it simple, shorter the list of ingredients better the product is which means it’s less processed. 



“I think we all need to know what we are eating, and whether we are making the right food choices based on our health goals.” – Prajakta Apte

“The education regarding how to read food labels is very important. Because once you have that information, you can make a balanced choice, you can make the right decision about what you’re going to put into your shopping cart.” – Prajakta Apte

“The ideal situation will be to choose a product which does not have added sugar in it. But if there is added sugar, then try to look for the product that says below 5% added sugar.” – Prajakta Apte




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