Beyond the Basics: 6 Key Nutrients to Look for When Reading Food Labels

March is National Nutrition Month, and it’s a great time to think about eating healthy. A balanced diet with all the right nutrients is really important to keep your body healthy and prevent and manage chronic diseases.

When you look at a nutrition label, you can find out a lot more than just how many calories and how much food you’re getting. Here are 6 important things to look for on your nutrition label:

  • Proteins: Help build and repair tissues in your body, like skin, hair, and nails. You can get protein from lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates give your body energy to do things every day. But not all carbs are the same. Some carbs like white bread and sugary drinks can make you gain weight and be unhealthy. Instead, choose whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Fiber: Helps your digestive system stay healthy and keeps your blood sugar levels normal. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds all have fiber.
  • Vitamins: Keep you healthy and help prevent diseases. Some important vitamins are A, C, D, and E. You can get vitamins from fruits, veggies, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
  • Minerals: These are important for many parts of your body, like bones, teeth, and blood pressure. Calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium are some important minerals. Dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are all good sources of minerals.
  • Fats: Healthy fats are important for brain function, energy production, and hormone regulation. They also help to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon. Avoid trans fats and limit your intake of saturated fats.
A healthy diet should have all these important nutrients. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or worries about your diet. It’s okay to ask for help and advice.  To learn more about how important nutrients can help your body, visit Health (