Confused About How to Read a Nutrition Label? This Photo Breaks It Down

When you pick up a packaged food item, your first instinct might be to read the nutrition label. But with different serving sizes, macronutrients, micronutrients, and percentages, it can be confusing to properly read a nutrition label, especially if you are trying to make a healthy choice.

Luckily, personal trainer and fitness coach Max Weber, NASM (@maxweberfit), broke it down in an Instagram post. In his two photos, he shows how to properly read a nutrition label, and then more specifically how to read it if you're tracking your macros. One of the most important parts of the label, he points out, are the servings per container. "Keep in mind that on a nutrition label you'll see 'servings per container' or 'number of servings' along with 'serving size,'" he wrote in his caption. "This is important to keep in mind so that you don't end up eating the whole container that has five servings while only tracking one serving."

He also explained that the calories listed are per serving, not per container, and that if you see trans fats on the label, you should avoid it. He also recommended eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, limiting processed sugar, and eating nutrient-dense foods.

For macros, he broke down how many calories per gram of fat (10 calories per gram), carbs (four calories per gram), and protein (four calories per gram) there are. These numbers will add up to the total calories on the nutrition label. If you're tracking your macros, these formulas are key to remember.

"The reason you want to learn how to read a nutrition label is so you can LEARN about the foods you eat, and their composition of nutrients, as knowing this info will better serve you in reaching your goals," Max wrote. Next time you pick up food from a package, make sure you read the label carefully!