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Reading food labels using the two finger rule

You have a right to know what is in the products you eat
You have a right to know what is in the products you eat

Reading a food label can be easier than you ever imagined. All it takes is a willingness to learn how to read a food label and some knowledge of what the words mean. A food label is used to tell consumers the product’s ingredients, nutritional facts, amount of calories per serving, and other essential information.

The two finger rule consists of: identifying the product, locating the amount of calories per serving, and adding or subtracting fingers. Take a box of cereal for example. In looking at the food label, you see there are 150 calories per serving, which includes ½ cup of skim milk. As a consumer, you want to pay attention to a product’s total fat, cholesterol, sodium, dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins. Most of the items that are bad for you are listed at the top of the food label. The product’s daily values that have a rate of at least 10 grams or 10% are used to calculate the two finger rule.

The two finger rule is used to distinguish healthy nutritional products from unhealthy products. Your first step is to place one finger up for each item in the cereal that is good for you. If you eat a cereal brand such as, Honey Nut Cheerios, you may have over 10 fingers up. Subtract a finger for each item in the cereal that is bad for you and if there are more than 300 calories in that particular item. Once your addition and subtraction is complete, there should be no doubt about whether your food selection is good for you. All you need is two fingers left standing for the product to be good for you. Next time you go grocery shopping and want to make a smart choice, use the two finger rule and leave the store with a selection that satisfy your needs and is healthy for you.


  • Von 5 years ago

    Helpful article. I have defintely become more health conscious. I also see people reading the labels a lot more than years ago. Thanks for the tip.