Food labels on packaged foods and drinks show lots of information. Reading and understanding the information on these labels can help you to compare products and make healthier food choices.
You can find nutrition information in three different places on food labels:
The ingredient list tells you what is in the food. It lists the ingredients by weight from most to least. The first few ingredients are those in the highest amounts. In the example below of a whole grain breakfast cereal, whole grain wheat is the first ingredient. This means that there is more whole grain wheat in the cereal than any other ingredient.
Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, Dark chocolate bits (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), Cocoa, Mixed tocopherols (to preserve freshness).
Contains: Wheat, Soy.
There are two types of nutrition claims on food and drink packages:
The Nutrition Fact table lists the amount of calories and other nutrients that are in the food based on a certain serving size. You can use the Nutrition Facts table to compare similar foods.
The % Daily Value (% DV) on the Nutrition Facts table shows you if the serving size has a little or a lot of certain nutrients. It can help you make healthier food choices.
Choose a lower % DV for nutrients you may want less of, such as:
Choose a higher % DV for nutrients you may want more of, such as:
Current as of: March 7, 2022
Author: Nutrition Services, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.