Seek low numbers. Don’t just check the calorie count. Make sure you’re limiting your daily intake of fat, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol too. A single serving of any food product you buy should contain fewer than 20 grams of fat, fewer than 10 grams of sugar, and less than 10 percent of your recommended daily value of cholesterol. With sodium, try to stay in the 120–300 milligram range; “anything above 480 is pretty high.”
Favor quick reads. The shorter the ingredient list, “the lower the chance you’re eating artificial additives.” Look for foods with less than 10 ingredients. “If you can get it down to five or six, that’s even better!”
Verify all claims. A cookie billed as “a good source of fiber” might contain only 3 grams of the stuff. Always turn to the nutrition label before believing any health claim trumpeted up front.