• Reading Food Labels

    Find a Healthy Choice

    Healthy food choices are key to your weight loss success. After surgery, your stomach will only be able to hold so much food at once. It’s important to make healthful choices to ensure your body is getting the nutrients you need.

    Reading food labels is key to choosing the right foods. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

    • Low-calorie foods have less than 40 calories per serving.
    • Low-fat foods have less than 3 grams of fat per serving. (Read more about finding low-fat foods.)
    • Low-cholesterol foods have less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
    • "Reduced" foods have 25 percent less of specified nutrient or calories than the original product.
    • Low-calorie foods have less than 5 calories per serving.
    • Fat free or sugar-free foods have less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving.
    • "High in" claims provided 20 percent or more of the daily of a specific nutrient per serving.
    • High fiber foods have 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
    • Lean proteins (meat, poultry, seafood) have 10 grams of fat or less, 4½ grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per 3-ounce serving.
    • "Light" claims mean 1/3 fewer calories or ½ the fat of the usual food.
    • Healthy individual food items should have:
      • Low fat
      • Low saturated fat
      • Less than 480 mg sodium
      • Less than 95 mg cholesterol
      • At least 10 percent of the daily value of vitamins A and C, iron, protein, calcium and fiber

    Sodium: Understanding Label Lingo

    Sodium intake is often tough to count and understand because salt makes its way into most packaged foods. Learn how to read food labels and find healthy, low-sodium options. Look for these key terms:

    • Low sodium: Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving
    • Sodium or salt free: Less than 5 mg per serving
    • Very low sodium: 35 mg or less of sodium per serving
    • Reduced or less sodium: At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular
    • Light in sodium: 50 percent sodium than the regular
    • Unsalted, without added salt or no salt added: No salt added during processing