What Should I Look for When I Read Nutrition Labels?

Learn to Become a Label Reading Ninja!

Use this quick-and-easy method to find health-promoting products in your grocery store!

Never, ever, ever believe anything on the front of a package. Instead, go to the nutrition facts panel and read the ingredients list—that’s where the actual truth lives.

Here’s your quick list to determine if the label you’re reading passes the PLANTSTRONG sniff test.


1) Sodium: Your recommended total daily intake should be around 1500-2000mg daily so when reading a label, you want the number of calories per serving to be equal to or lesser than the number of milligrams of sodium per serving. (For example: If the number of calories per serving in your item is 250 calories, then you want the amount of sodium to be 250mg or less). You’re looking for that quick-and-easy 1:1 ratio. 

2) Added Oils: We avoid all extra oils. This includes those that have erroneously been labeled as “healthy oils” like olive oil, coconut, grapeseed, safflower, and canola oil. If you see a bunch of added oils in the ingredient list, put it down! 

3) Added Sugars: It’s shocking and amazing how much extra sugar is hidden in some of our favorite staples like pasta sauce, yogurt, condiments, and even bread. Avoid foods that have sugars in the first three ingredients. Four grams of sugar is equal to about one teaspoon, so if your label says 16g of sugar per serving, that’s almost four teaspoons in one serving! 
4) Eating Whole Grains: We want you to look for these keywords when determining if something is truly a whole grain food item: whole grain, cracked, rolled, stone-ground, and sprouted. If you don’t see one of those words, it’s likely not a true whole grain food item.
Our nutrition guidelines are tough, and for good reason! They’re evidence-based and if you stay as close as you can to these tenets, you can accelerate your health goal progress.

Read Our Labels

Make the healthy choice the easy choice. Fill your pantry with foods you can enjoy! Visit PLANTSTRONGFoods.com to see our growing assortment of meal solutions. We want to make it easy, convenient, and delicious to live your best PLANTSTRONG life!

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