When it comes to eating for weight loss, the nutrition label is your secret weapon. Unfortunately, reading it can feel like we’re learning a foreign language at times.
“There’s so much information that’s packed into this little back panel that it’s easy to overlook some things or not fully understand what it’s trying to communicate,” says Elana Natker, MS, RD, owner of Sage Leaf Communications. New FDA nutrition label standards—like increasing the font size of calorie counts and suggesting the right portions with serving sizes—should help clear the confusion. But not all food manufacturers have incorporated the changes just yet.
In the meantime, we asked three dietitians to ID the top nutrition label mistakes that could be causing you to gain weight. Avoiding these common blunders could make all the difference in your weight loss journey. “Whenever you’re focused on weight loss, it’s always a good idea to know the facts, and your food label is really going to be your best way of knowing that,” says Leah Kaufman, MS, CDE, RD, owner of Leah Kaufman Nutrition. And for more nutrition advice and tips on how to find the healthiest foods, subscribe to the Eat This, Not That! magazine and get 50 percent off the cover price.