How to Calculate Weekly Nutrition From Labels

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Labels on foods that list "standard servings" cannot tell you how much food you actually eat or what nutrients you get from those amounts, requiring you to calculate your weekly nutrition based on what you actually consumed. Find out how to make those calculations in this free video on nutritional calculations.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Calculations
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Charlotte Lawson, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and I'm going to help you with some information on how to read and determine and calculate nutrition facts labels. Now, if you're looking for weekly menu, and you're trying to determine what foods are healthy or what foods fit into a healthy lifestyle, utilizing nutrition facts labels is very, very key. Fortunately, a great amount of information has been calculated and formulated and broken down on this little strip on the side of a box bag, box, box, bag or package food that you would purchase. Now, the most important thing to look at is the serving size because if you don't recognize the serving size, the rest of the information below really won't make any sense. So, once we know the serving size per package, you can then calculate how many calories you're consuming. Say for instance, since you have two or three servings, you know that any information listed below, you need to multiply by two or three times. Now, keeping a weekly log, even a daily food log is really important if you're tracking your calorie intake for weight loss or weight regimen program. Now, looking at the nutrition facts label, just copy down or transpose on your piece of paper the type of food you ate, the amount and if available, the calorie limit. Now, say for instance you ate something that didn't have a nutrition facts label. Fortunately, there are many different calorie counting programs out there. The one I really highly recommend is the USDA National Food Database or the mypyramidtracker.gov. Again, both of these are government-based programs, very, very proficient, provide you with an excellent amount of information and can be very specific especially when you're trying to monitor your overall calorie intake, especially if you're trying to do a full week's worth, as I know keeping an, you know, a food log maybe a little bit tedious. But, this can really help track and save your data so you don't have to have that notebook by your side all the time. So again, utilize your nutrition facts labels, look at the serving size as this really is important as far as making the rest of the information make sense. And take advantage of those online databases; again, mypyramidtracker.gov or the USDA National Food Database. I'm Charlotte, and eat happy.

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