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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Healthful Snacks for the Chip-and-Dip Crowd

by Ruth Papazian

The %Daily Value can also help you distinguish between two similar products, particularly when it involves a comparative nutritional claim, such as reduced fat. "You don't need to know the precise definition of 'low' or 'reduced.' Just look at the %Daily Value and see which is higher or lower in the nutrient you are interested in," Kulakow advises.

"You don't have to go to extremes--cutting out all snack foods from your diet or eating only products that are fat-free," she says. "The new food label helps you to eat what you like and still meet nutritional recommendations if you balance your food choices. The key is to use the label to help you make informed choices that fit into your total daily diet. That way education, not deprivation, can help you achieve your dietary goals."

Ruth Papazian is a writer in New York City.

Smart and Easy

Today, it's easier than ever to find a version of your favorite brand or type of snack food that is lower in fat or sodium--or both--than the "regular" version. With a bit of comparison shopping, you'll find snack foods you can enjoy even if you are on a restricted diet because of high blood pressure or another medical problem. These are some of the descriptors to look for on the front of the package:

  • Fat-free: less than 0.5 grams (g) of fat per serving

  • Low-fat: 3 g or less per serving (if the serving size is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, no more than 3 g of fat per 50 g of the food)

  • Light: one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the "regular" version

  • Low-sodium: 140 milligrams (mg) or less per serving (if the serving size is 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less, no more than 140 mg of sodium per 50 g of the food)

  • Lightly salted: at least 50 percent less sodium per serving than the "regular" version

  • Reduced: when describing fat, sodium or calorie content, the food must have at least 25 percent less of these nutrients than the "regular" version.


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