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Understanding the Food Nutrition Label

U N D E R S T A N D I N G the F O O D  N U T R I T I O N  L A B E L


Serving Size

Check to see if your serving is the same size as the one on the label. If you eat double the serving size listed, you need to double the nutrient and caloric values. If you eat one-half the serving size shown here, the nutrient and caloric values should be halved.

 

Calories

Look here to see what t serving of food adds to your daily total. A person’s size and activity level help determine total calories needed per day. For example, a 138-lb active woman needs about 2,000 calories each day, while a 150-lb woman needs about 2,300.

 

Total Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found in foods like bread, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. They should be the basis for your diet, giving you nutrients and energy. If you cut down on fat, you can eat more carbohydrates.

 

Dietary Fiber

It is important to consume both soluble dietary fiber (also called “roughage”). Fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, beans, and legumes are all good sources of fiber and can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

 

Protein

Most adults get more protein than they need. Protein from animal sources contains both fat and cholesterol so eat small servings of lean meat, fish, and poultry. Use skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Try to get your protein from some vegetables (such as beans), grains, and cereals.

Vitamins & Minerals

Make it your goal to get 100% of each every day. Let a combination of foods contribute to a winning score.

 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup (228g)

Servings Per Container 2

Amount Per Serving

Calories260 Calories from Fat 120

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 13g  20%

Saturated Fat 5g 25%

Trans Fat 2g

Cholesterol 30mg 10%

Sodium 660mg 28%

Total Carbohydrate 31g 10%

Dietary Fiber 0g 0%

Sugars 5g

Protein 5g

Vitamin A 4% * Vitamin C 2%

Calcium 15% * Iron 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 caloric diet.

Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on

your caloric needs.

Calories: 2,000 2,500

Total Fat Less than 65g 80g

Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g

Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg

Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g

Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

Calories per gram:

Fat 9 * Carbohydrate 4 * Protein 4


Total Fat

Try to limit your calories from fat. Too much fat may contribute to heart disease and cancer. Choose foods with fewer than 30% of calories derived from fat.

 

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is the “bad” fat. It is the key player in raising blood cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Avoid it!

 

Cholesterol

Challenge yourself to eat foods totaling less than 30 mg of cholesterol each day. Too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease.

 

Sodium

Too much sodium (or salt) adds up to high blood pressure in some people. Keep your sodium intake low – 2,400 to 3,000 mg per day is plenty.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 3,000 mg of sodium per day for healthy adults.

 

Daily Values

These daily values apply to people who eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories each day. If you are eating more, your personal daily value may be higher than what’s listed on the label. If you are eating less, your personal daily value may be lower.

 

Aim for low percent daily values when it comes to fats, cholesterol, and sodium while aiming for 100% of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

 

Additional nutrients may be listed on some food labels.


G=grams (about 28 grams = 1 ounce)

Mg = milligrams (1,000 mg = 1 gram)

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