How to read a nutrition label

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Transcript How to read a nutrition label

How to read a nutrition label
Nutrition 1
Reading a nutrition label
Knowing how to read a nutrition label can act as a guide to eating a
healthy diet and can help you to avoid dangerous allergic reactions.
Food labels can be found on most packaged foods, such as chips,
frozen dinners, beverages, and many others.
Raw produce, meats, and a few foods like coffee, spices, and alcohol
do not have labels. Their information can often be found online, along
with many restaurant foods.
Current Food Label Requirements
Food labels are the law to make them easy for you to understand and to make
food comparison easier.
• The current requirements include:
– Nutrition information that is shown a universal form.
– Any health claim must be supported by scientific evidence and approved by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Reduces Heart Disease!”
– Serving sizes try to represent a typical serving.
– Percent of Daily Values reflect how one serving of the food fits into a 2000
calorie per day diet.
– The ingredient list names the ingredients in order by the most weight to the least
amount of weight.
– An address or phone number of the manufacturer/distributor must be on the
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Exceptions to the Rules
Some foods or food products are not required to have a
“Nutrition Facts” label.
• Some of the current exceptions include:
– Plain coffee and tea.
– Spices, flavorings, and foods with no
significant source of any nutrient.
– Foods that are packaged
in “sample” sizes not
reflecting a “usual” serving.
– Ready-to-eat foods
prepared on site. (Lunch Room)
– Fruits, vegetables, and fish.
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The serving size tells us how much
should be eaten at one time. The
other values on the food label are
based on this serving size
The servings per container tells how
many servings are in the package.
Not every package only has one
serving. It is important to pay
attention to the serving size.
Calories are units of energy. They
come from carbohydrates, protein, and
fat. Most people need around 15002000 calories in a day. The food label
bases its information on a 2000 calorie
Calories from fat are listed on the
label. This is because it is important to
limit your intake of fats to 1/3 or less of
your Calories.
The rest of the food label tells us how
much of each nutrient is in a serving in
grams or milligrams.
The percent daily value is on the right side
of the label. It shows the percentage of
that nutrient you would reach by eating
ONE serving size of the product. This is
based on a 2000 calorie diet.
As a rule, 20% or more of the daily value is
considered high, while 5% or less is
considered low.
Fats are an important part of our diet, but
they should only make up 1/3 of our
Trans fats are not on this label, but they are
man made fats that can raise cholesterol
and are found in many fried foods. They
should be eaten as little as possible.
Saturated fats are found in many animal
products, and can raise cholesterol if over
eaten. They should be limited.
Unsaturated fats are good for us and can be
found in fish and plant products. Try to
make most of your fats unsaturated.
and sodium
Cholesterol is an important part of our
diet, but many people eat too much.
This increases their risk for heart disease.
It is recommended that you eat less than
300 mg of cholesterol a day.
Sodium is also an important part of our
diet that people may eat too much of.
Getting too much sodium increases
blood pressure. You should try to eat
less than 2300 mg.
Along with carbohydrates and fat,
protein gives us energy.
Try to eat leaner meats like chicken or
lean cuts of steak. Nuts and beans are
also great sources of protein.
Vitamins and
There are many vitamins
and minerals, but Vitamin
A, calcium, Vitamin C, and
iron are often the only
ones found on the label.
Each vitamin plays an
important role in keeping
us healthy and preventing
The ingredients list is an important part of a food label. Here we can see if
there are any ingredients you are trying to avoid or anything that you may be
allergic to.
Terms Used On Food Labels
• Diet - A food that is either a low calorie or reduced calorie food.
• Low Calorie - Contains no more than 40 calories per serving.
• Fat Free - .5g or less of fat per serving.
• Low Fat - 3g or less of fat per serving.
• Calorie-Free - Contains less than 5 calories per serving.
• Sugar-Free - Contains less than half a gram of sugar per serving.
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Terms Used On Food Labels
• Excellent Source - Provides at least 20% of the Daily Value per serving.
• Good Source - Provides 10-19% of the Daily Value per serving.
• Healthy - Allowed only on food items which are low in fat, saturated fats,
cholesterol, and sodium.
• Light – A serving provides 1/3 fewer calories or half the fat of a “regular” product.
– A serving of a low calorie, low fat food provides half the sodium normally present.
– The product is light in color or texture and the label
describes this.
©2006 Learning ZoneXpress
Terms Used On Food Labels
• Reduced - Contains 25% less of a nutrient or calories than a “regular”
• Low Sodium - 140mg or less of sodium per serving.
• Very Low Sodium - 35mg or less sodium per serving.
• Lean - Not more than: 10g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, and 95mg cholesterol or
less per serving.
• Extra Lean - Not more than: 5g of fat, 2g saturated fat, or 95mg
cholesterol per serving.
• 0g Trans Fat - Less than .5g of trans fat per serving.
©2006 Learning ZoneXpress