Nutrition Fact Label

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Nutrition Facts will help you:

  • Find out which foods are good sources of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin C 
  • Find low-sodium foods 
  • Find foods that are low in saturated fat and trans fats 
  • Compare similar foods to choose which one is lower in calories, fat, and sugar

What health claims on food labels really mean

  • Low calories: less than 20 calories per serving 
  • Low cholesterol: less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per serving 
  • Reduced: 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product 
  • Calorie free: less than 3 calories per serving 
  • Fat free/ Sugar free: less than 1/2 gram of fat or sugar per serving 
  • Low sodium: less than 140 mg of sodium per serving 
  • High fiber: 5 or more grams of fiber per serving

New Nutrition Fact Label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods that will make it easier for you to make good choices that support a healthy diet. 

Manufacturers still have time to begin using the new and improved Nutrition Facts label, so you will see both label versions for a while. However, the new label is already starting to appear on products nationwide.

Current vs. New Nutrition Fact Food Label

How to read a Nutrition Fact Label

Servings

Look at the serving size (the amount for one serving) AND the number of servings in the package. If the label serving size is one cup, and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat, sugar, and other nutrients listed on the label.

New Nutrition Fact label: The number of “servings per container” and the “serving size” are now in larger and/or bolder type. Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people actually eat and drink today. For example, the serving size for ice cream was previously ½ cup and now is 2/3 cup.

Calories

Try to cut back on calories if you are watching your weight.

New Nutrition Fact label: “Calories” is now larger and bolder.

Fats

Cut back on fat if you are watching your weight. Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Replace foods higher in saturated fat with foods higher in unsaturated fats like Mono-unsaturated and Poly-unsaturated fats.

New Nutrition Fact label: “Calories from fat” has been removed because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.

Added Sugar

Total carbohydrates are listed with a breakdown of how many carbohydrates are from fiber and sugar. You want to look for foods high in fiber and low in sugar. The new label will also show the grams of added sugar. It is very important to know how much added sugar is in your food versus sugar naturally food in the food or product.

See sections Fiber and Sugar for more information about each nutrient.

New Nutrition Fact label: “Added sugars” is now required on the label. Added sugars includes sugars that are added during the processing of foods such as syrups, honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Research shows that it is difficult to get all the nutrients you need and not consume too many calories, if you eat and drink more than 10% of your total daily calories from added sugar.

Nutrients

For all nutrients listed on the Nutrition Fact label, the % Daily Value is listed on the right-hand side. Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. Daily Values are for the entire day not just one meal.

  • A Daily Value of 5% or less is low—aim low in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. 
  • A Daily Value of 20% or more is high—aim high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

New Nutrition Fact label: This list of nutrients that are required or permitted on the label have been updated. Vitamin D and potassium have been added because Americans do not always get the recommended amounts. Vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies, or getting too few of these vitamins are rare today. The actual amount (in milligrams or micrograms) in addition to the %DV must be listed for vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Footnote

The footnote gives a brief description of percent Daily Values. 

New Nutrition Fact label: The footnote at the bottom of the label has changed to better explain the meaning of %DV. The %DV helps you understand the nutrition information in terms of your diet.

Source: FDA

This post was last updated on April 23rd, 2020 at 10:37 AM

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