Follow along with SNAP-Ed NY to learn how you can make healthy choices using the nutrition facts label.
Making healthy choices using the nutrition facts label.
Choosing a packaged food or beverage that’s right for you is easier when you check out the nutrition facts label. It’s designed to help you compare foods, and make healthy choices. The label has four key sections that help you weigh your options: servings calories, percent daily value, and nutrients. All this information is at your fingertips.
Let’s size up servings.
Servings per container shows the total number of servings in the entire package or container. Serving size is based on the amount of food that is usually eaten at one time, and the nutrition information listed on the label is usually based on one serving. Since packages can and often do contain more than one serving, serving size is an important thing to know when you’re deciding how much to eat or drink during the day.
Let’s check out calories.
2,000 calories a day is used as a general guide for nutrition advice, but your calorie needs may be higher or lower depending on your age, sex, height, weight, and the amount of physical activity you get each day. Curious about how many calories you need? Learn your number at choosemyplate.gov/MyPlatePlan.
Calories can quickly add up, so here’s a tip. 100 calories per serving of an individual food is considered a moderate amount and 400 calories or more is considered high in calories.
Let’s look at percent daily value and nutrients.
The percent daily value, also known as percent DV, can help you figure out if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient. For example, five percent DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low and 20 percent DV or more is considered high. You can use percent DV to choose and compare food products. Aim to get less than 100 of the DV of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars each day. These are nutrients to get less of in your diet overall. Read the labels on packaged foods and drinks to find out all the facts about servings, calories, percent DV, and nutrients. Making healthier choices will be a snap.
For more information, visit fda.gov/food