How to read a salter scale

A Salter scale is a kitchen apparatus designed to weigh precise portions of food. It is often used by dieting people who must weigh portions of meat or vegetables and record the number of ounces and calories that they eat per meal or per day. You may use a Salter scale to weigh food and to determine its nutritional values.

Place the weighing tray onto the scale and then turn the scale on.

Make sure your scale is in weighing mode by pressing the "g/oz/WT" button on the scale.

Place the item that you want to weigh---an English muffin, for example---on the scale after the display reads 0.0.

Read the weight shown on the display and record the number---the large number in the centre of the scale. An English muffin probably weighs between two and four ounces.

Make sure the weight is displayed in the appropriate units for your nutritional plan. If you want to convert the muffin's weight to pounds, press and hold the "g/oz/WT" key until the units of weight display reads "lb." If the units convert correctly, your muffin should weigh about 57 to 113g.

Clear the three-digit food code by pressing the CLR/MC key on the scale. You will know that the scale has cleared the food code when the display reads "000."

Find the three-digit scale code in the Salter Nutritional Scale manual for the food that you are weighing. The manual is organised by type of food---grains, cheeses, salad dressings, etc---to make it easier for you to find your code.

Enter the three-digit code using the numerical keypad to begin the calculation of nutritional information. For an English muffin, enter the code "439."

Press the "cal" key to determine how many calories are in your English muffin. The Salter scale uses the weight of your food and general information about the food to calculate the number of calories, indicating the gram count in the centre of the display. Record this information if necessary.

Push the "fat" key to obtain a readout of the number of grams of fat in a portion of food. The scale will show the gram reading in the centre of the display. Like all Salter nutritional values, these numbers are approximations based on a generic English muffin. While the scale should give you a good estimate of your fat intake, it is not an exact analysis.

Press the "prot," "fibr," or "carb" keys to find the number of grams of protein, fibre or carbohydrates, respectively, in your food. All of these keys display nutritional values in grams and work in exactly the same way as the "fat" key.

Push the "chol" key to obtain a reading of the amount of cholesterol in the muffin. The "chol" mode displays information in milligrams. Be sure to record units accurately.

Press the "salt" key to find the number of milligrams of salt in the English muffin. Like the "chol" mode, the "salt" mode displays nutritional information in milligrams.

Things You'll Need

  • Salter scale
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About the Author

Ethan Schwartz has been a scientific and freelance writer for a year, writing scientific literature for "Gene Therapy" and articles on education, health and personal finance for eHow. Schwartz graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and will begin medical school in July 2010.