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Reading labels can help you stay healthy

The Nutrition Facts label on nearly all foods and beverages can be a valuable tool. It can guide you in choosing foods that are low in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and other nutrients. But what happens when food is label-free? Fresh produce, meat, chicken, fish, and shellfish probably won’t have food labels. There are guidelines, however, requiring stores to post nutrition information for the 20 most popular fruits, vegetables, and fresh fish. This information should be easily found on posters or charts in the appropriate section of the store. Check in the produce section or at the fish counter. Also, many food manufacturers and farmers are now voluntarily providing nutrient information on their own products. Ask questions at your grocery store, and read any posted information about these kinds of foods. The better informed you are, the more likely you’ll be to make the right choices.