Crestor® (rosuvastatin calcium)

Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a Healthy Diet

Reading Food Labels

The Ins and Outs of What’s Listed on the Label

They may not look like it, but food labels may be some of your best friends when managing your cholesterol and trying to slow (glossary term)plaque buildup in your arteries. Once you learn to decode the 8 parts of a food label, you’re well on your way to making healthy food choices.

The good news is that the info on food labels is standardized, so if you can read one, you can read them all, and pretty soon you'll be eating by the numbers.

Nutrition facts label

Serving Size: All the information on the label is based on one serving. Even a small package may contain several servings.

Calories: Your daily intake of calories should be just enough to help maintain a desirable weight. On average, women should consume about 1,800 calories daily, while men should consume about 2,500 calories daily.

Total Fat: Try to keep your daily intake of total fat to about 30% of your calories. Think of it as an average of 3 grams of fat for every 100 calories. And remember, healthy fats— (glossary term)monounsaturated and (glossary term)polyunsaturated—may not be listed. Simply subtract the saturated and trans fats from the total fat to see what you’re getting.

Saturated Fat: Commonly found in animal products, including fatty meat and dairy products, as well as in coconut and palm oils, saturated fat has also been shown to increase LDL or (bad) cholesterol. As a result, less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. That’s about 7 grams saturated fat per 1,000 calories.

Trans Fat: Like saturated fat, trans fat has also been shown to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. It’s commonly found in vegetable shortening, snack foods and commercial baked goods like cookies and crackers.

Low cholesterol diet

A Healthier Choice

It’s okay to snack if you remember to snack responsibly. Just make sure you choose something nutritious. Nuts, fresh veggies, pretzels, air-popped popcorn, and fresh or frozen fruits are all good choices.

Cholesterol: For a healthy diet, try to keep the amount of cholesterol in the foods you eat to under 200 milligrams per day.

Dietary (Soluble) Fiber: Alters digestion and extends the feeling of fullness, and can also lower LDL cholesterol. Try to eat 5 to 10 grams of dietary fiber per day. Some sources are peas, beans, and apples.

*% of Daily Value: According to the FDA, that little asterisk refers to the footnote in the lower part of the nutrition label which reads “% DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.” This statement must appear on all food labels. But the remaining information in the full footnote may not be on the package if the size of the label is too small. When the full footnote does appear, it will always be the same, no matter what the product, because it shows recommended dietary advice for all Americans. The daily values (DV) for each nutrient are based on public health experts’ advice. DVs are recommended levels of intakes, and those in the footnote are based on a 2,000- or 2,500-calorie diet. Note how the DVs for some nutrients change, while others (for cholesterol and sodium) remain the same.

Brushing up on the nutritional values of the foods you eat is a great way to help get your diet on the right track. But did you know that some foods actually can help lower cholesterol?

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CRESTOR is licensed from SHIONOGI & CO, LTD, Osaka, Japan.

Plaque is the fatty deposits and other cells that can build up in the walls of your arteries. One major cause is high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Other health factors, such as a family history of early heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and being obese, can also play a role.
Monounsaturated fat
An unsaturated fat found primarily in plant-based foods such as olive and canola oils. Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Eating more monounsaturated fats (instead of saturated fats such as butter and lard) can help lower cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fat
An unsaturated fat found primarily in plant-based foods such as corn, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid or soft at room temperature. Eating more polyunsaturated fats (instead of saturated fats such as butter and lard) can lower cholesterol.