As the push to eat healthier and watch our portion sizes continues to increase, consumers are also learning the importance of reading and understanding food labels when grocery shopping. However, trying to remember how much fat, sodium, carbs, and other nutrients we should limit ourselves to on a daily basis can be challenging, and the nutrient claims on food packaging only adds to the confusion.
The Food Cop’s FREE Food Shopping Pocket Guide is a handy tool that contains easy-to-read information about exactly what information to look for on food labels when food shopping. The Food Cop’s FREE Food Shopping Pocket Guide is also helpful when eating out, now that many restaurants and fast-food establishments are required to post nutrient information for their menu items. Because it is a pocket guide, you can easily keep this in your wallet or purse and have it with you at all times. Never be confused when reading a food label again!
Converting Calories to Grams
This information is helpful when determining how many grams of fat, carbs, and protein you should be consuming on a daily basis. Download The Food Cop’s FREE Food Shopping Pocket Guide for more information. (In the following example, we will be using total fat.)
- Determine how many calories you consume each day. (If you are overweight, you may want to decrease the amount of calories. If you are underweight, you may want to increase the amount of calories.) In this example, we will use 1,800 calories per day.
- Determine the maximum percentage of total fat you should consume daily (see The Food Cop’s FREE Food Shopping Pocket Guide). In this example, we will use 35%.
- Multiply your daily intake of calories by the percentage of total fat calories. For example, if you eat 1,800 calories per day, the most amount of calories from fat you should consume would be 1,800 x 0.35 = 630.
- Divide that number by 9 (there are 9 calories in 1 fat gram). In this example, 630 / 9 = 70 grams of total fat. Therefore, you should not consume more than 70 grams of total fat per day on a 1,800 calorie per day meal plan.
- Use this same formula for determining how many carbs and protein you should be consuming each day. Remember that the numbers you use will differ for each of these (see The Food Cop’s FREE Food Shopping Pocket Guide).