Reading Nutrition Labels

Nutrition Label Breakdown

“What’s on the label?”
Source: FDA

Want to know more? Check out the full walkthrough of the nutritional label here at the FDA website

Check the serving size and number of servings.
• The Nutrition Facts Label information is based on ONE serving, but many packages contain more. Look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the % DVs.
• When you compare calories and nutrients between brands, check to see if the serving size is the same.

Know your fats and reduce sodium for your health.
• To help reduce your risk of heart disease, use the label to select foods that are lowest in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.
• Trans fat doesn’t have a % DV, but consume as little as possible because it increases your risk of heart disease.
• The % DV for total fat includes all different kinds of fats.
• To help lower blood cholesterol, replace saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and liquid vegetable oils.
• Limit sodium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

Look for foods that are rich in these nutrients.
• Use the label not only to limit fat and sodium, but also to increase nutrients that promote good health and may protect you from disease.
• Some Americans don’t get enough vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, and iron, so choose the brand with the higher % DV for these nutrients.
• Get the most nutrition for your calories—compare the calories to the nutrients you would be getting to make a healthier food choice.

Other Ways To Read Nutritional Value

Confused? Don’t be.  Several companies have tried to make this process a lot easier. Two of our largest grocers in town have started using different ways to help you pick out what’s healthy:

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