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 25, 2019
Author: Nutrition Services, Alberta Health Services
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