Before you toss that box of cereal into your grocery cart, take a moment to read the nutrition facts located on the side of the package. There are five key things that you can learn from this label that can help in your overall diabetes care.
1. Serving Size
Serving size and servings per container tell you how large your portion should be and how many servings you will get from that container. Everything else that you read on the label is directly related to the serving size listed.
You can learn how many calories are in each serving and how many of those calories are from fat. For people concerned about weight gain, monitoring your daily intake of calories is essential.
3. Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium
The label tells you how many grams of fat are in each portion and how many of those fat grams are from saturated, unsaturated or trans fats. Unsaturated fats are better that saturated fats. Trans fats should be avoided as much as possible. Cholesterol and sodium should also be limited because most people get more that enough in their regular diet.
4. Total Carbohydrates
People with diabetes, especially those who are using carbohydrate-counting to figure out insulin doses, will find this information particularly useful. Carbohydrates can increase blood sugar levels so you should watch how much you are eating.
A diet rich in fiber has been shown to prevent type 2 diabetes and can also help people with diabetes to keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels in normal ranges.