What’s really inside today’s packaged foods and beverages is revealed on the Nutrition Facts label. This tell-all most often appears on the product’s back side. It is intended to help you make informed choices.

Know what you’re eating

  • Know what you’re buying and eating by reading food labels, so you can become better at using them as a tool to plan a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Make it a habit to choose foods by comparing their labels.
  • As you change your eating habits, keep in mind that packaged foods should only supplement the fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins that should make up most of your meals.
  • New research shows that people trying to lose or maintain weight are more successful when they check food labels.
  • Teaching your kids to read food labels is a great investment in their future.

Serving sizes vary

If you look at the serving size and decide to double it, be sure to double all of the numbers in the Nutrition Facts section.

% Daily Value

    • 5% or less is low
    • 20% or more is high

Daily fat intake guidelines

    • Total fat: 30%-35% of calories
    • Saturated fat: 7-10% of calories
    • Trans fat: As close to 0 as possible

Added daily sugar guidelines
The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar.

    • for women:  6 teaspoons(24 grams)
    • for men:      9 teaspoons(36 grams)
    • for children: 3 teaspoons(12 grams)
  •       4 grams = 1 teaspoon

Sodium daily intake

    • 2300 mg (about 1 teaspoon)
    • 1500 mg for adults 50 plus

Increase your daily intake – of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and Iron.

Ingredients list

The first item listed is what weighs the most in the total weight of the food item.