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Today I went shopping, armed with a notebook and pencil. I have been very troubled after doing the research for last week’s column about Fiber. I wanted to see for myself just how much fiber was in some of the bread options we have in our community.
Loaf after loaf that I picked up had a serving size of “1 slice” and 0 (zero) fiber in each slice. In fact, one variety of rolls had a serving size of “2 rolls” with 0 fiber! This was not what I expected to find!
If we as a community are going to make better choices, we need to know how to read the Nutritional Label that is on almost every package of processed food. Let’s take a very brief look at two items on this label – the serving size and fiber.
Get something from your cupboard that has a food label on it. The label has a list of items with a “%” mark next to them. The first item listed is the “Serving Size” which usually is the same for the same type foods. For example, the serving size for bread is usually “1 slice”. Then look down to just below “Total Carbohydrate” where “Fiber” is listed and you should see the fiber content.
If fiber is a very small amount, it may be list as “<1 gm” which means “less than 1 gram” is in each serving of that food. And I found today that sometimes when the food does not have any fiber, then fiber is not listed on the nutritional label.
Another fun example to check are crackers. Compare each serving size and the fiber content.
Learning to read nutritional labels is part of what will be taught during the Shopping Matters tours. Call the Health Department to register and be part of the first tour on February 13th at 1 PM. The tour is limited to 8 participants and each participant will receive a $20 gift card to use for food shopping. What a fun way to learn about reading nutritional labels! Together we can be informed shoppers and make better choices for our families.