Have you ever felt that you needed a map to your nutrition? Well, don’t worry a lot of people do. We see a label, we glance at the fat, carbs and calories, and then we go to town. Does this sound like you? You’re not alone. When surveyed, most Americans claimed to only know look at the calories and fat, but not actually know what that meant.

Let’s break down some basics to get you started:

1. Serving Size: just about every product will have a serving size listed, be sure to understand how much that serving size is and how many are in the product you eating. A serving of chips may only be 8 chips, but there are 2 servings in a bag, so if you eat that whole bag, it could be game over.

2. Low Fat is Not Low Fat: low fat only means that their are less than 3 total grams per servings. Now, depending upon the size of that serving, if its small and 3g of fat, it may actually be a very high fat food. Also, when fat is removed, it is usually replaced with sugar, and with sugar spiking your insulin, its usually worse for your body than just the fat. Put away your gallon of Coca-Cola.

3. Finding Impact Carbs: Carbs always seem be a problem for people, so how do you find the amount of carbs that are actually affecting you? Take the total carbs, subtract the the sugar alcohols, glycerin and fiber. The final number that you have will be your net or impact carbs. It is recommended that per sitting you invest 9 or less total carbs.