Everything You Need to Know About How to Read a Food Nutrition Label
April 29, 2020
Food nutrition labels make it easier for consumers to make quick and informed decisions about what foods they should eat. This is especially important for people that need to follow diet restrictions because of health issues. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the new format of the nutrition facts label will reflect updated scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases, such as obesity and heart disease.
Here’s how to read a food nutrition label so you can understand what foods are best for your health:
The top of the food nutrition label includes serving information. In this section, you’ll find the number of servings per container and the serving size. According to the FDA, the serving size reflects the amount that people typically eat or drink. It is not a recommendation of how much you should eat or drink. It’s important to note that all the nutrient amounts shown on the label, including the number of calories, refer to the size of the serving. Example: If one serving of pudding equals one cup and you ate two cups of pudding, then you would be eating two servings. That means you should double the calories and nutrients shown in the nutrition label to find out how much you were consuming.
Each label shows you how many calories you are consuming per serving size. Calories are a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of food. In order to maintain healthy body weight, you are supposed to only consume the recommended amount of calories according to your height, weight, and physical activity level. If you are unsure of how many calories you should consume, then you should consult your doctor.
One of the largest sections on the label is the nutrients section. Here you will find what nutrients are present in the food or drink you are about to consume. It’s best to look for nutrients you want to eat more and try to stay away from the ones you want to eat less. Stay away from saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Eat more foods with dietary fiber, calcium, iron, etc.
Percent daily value
According to the FDA, The % Daily Value (%DV) is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. The Daily Values are reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day. You can pay attention to what percentage of daily value you are consuming for each food or drink you have. This is a great way to make sure you are staying on track with your recommended diet.
Sometimes you’ll see nutrition labels with dual-columns. They include information both per serving and per package. The purpose of these labels is to help people easily identify how much they are consuming when they eat the whole package or container of a product.
If you have any questions about how to read a food nutrition label or what foods are best for your diet, then you should ask your Ascension Network primary care physician. They can help you navigate what foods you should incorporate into your daily diet. If you’re looking for more information about how to exercise and eat right while being “locked down” read this article.