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How can I use ratings or symbols to choose healthy foods?

Marilyn Ricci, M.S., R.D.
Nutrition & Dietetics
At this time, there is not a uniform guide to help you. Each store seems to have its own system, so you must become familiar with their criteria. The nutrient panel on a package and the ingredient list are your most reliable tools for choosing healthy foods. Remember the first ingredient in the list of ingredients is the one that is predominant in the food. The nutrient panel gives nutrient information per serving. 
If your store uses shelf-tag symbols to guide healthy choices, find out what the ratings or symbols mean by looking on the supermarket's Web site. Remember that nutrition symbols cannot provide the whole picture on how these foods fit into a healthy lifestyle or apply to every individual. For a personalized guide to healthy shopping, contact a registered dietitian.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.