Begin reading the labels of the foods that you eat. Foods that are labeled "low in fat," or "light," are not always the healthiest choice. Many times, if a product is lower in fat, it may be higher in sodium, or, if it's lower in sugar, it may be high in fat. Start reading the "Nutrition Facts" chart on the back of the box, can or bag.
I will admit, it's hard to read the label of every food item while you're shopping. A better way to start is with your favorite packaged foods and snacks at home. Soon you'll start to notice the differences in the amounts of sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and calories per serving between the different foods that you've chosen. The next step is to slowly begin making adjustments in your shopping choices, and to look for alternatives with fewer calories, sodium and fats.
Don't get caught up in the calories
"Everyone zeroes in on the calories," says registered dietitian Claire LeBrun. "I even catch myself sometimes doing it; you gotta look at the portions and calories per serving size." The gotcha that gets a lot of consumers with the nutritional facts charts is the number of calories per serving size. Most consumers read the number of calories and assume that's the number of calories for the entire package, rather than the number of calories per serving - buyer beware.