The Nutrition Facts is part of every food label and provides useful information to help you get more of what you need and less of what you don’t. For example, if you are looking to get more protein or fiber in your daily eating pattern, use the label to identify foods that are good and excellent sources. The Nutrition Facts Label includes empowering information:
- Servings per container is the number of servings in the entire package. Packages often contain >1 serving.
- The serving size corresponds to the nutrients on the label. For example, if the serving size is 1 cup, then the nutrients on the label are for 1 cup of the food. Some labels also include nutrients for the entire package.
- Check serving sizes when comparing calories and nutrients in different foods to make accurate comparisons.
Nutrients per serving
- The U.S. FDA requires that calories, total fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, total sugars, added sugars, protein, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium are on food labels.
- You may find more information if:
- The product has a nutrient claim. For example, if there’s a “high in vitamin C” claim, vitamin C information will be included.
- The product is fortified. For example, more nutrients are on fortified cereal labels.
- The product is “sugar-free” or has “no added sugars” and contains sugar alcohols (such as erythritol, xylitol, and mannitol), for example sugar-free candies, beverages, and energy bars. In such case, sugar alcohols will be on the label.
- If you follow a ketogenic or low-carb eating style, you can use label information to calculate net carbs per serving:
- Total carb grams – dietary fiber grams = net carb grams
- Total carb grams – dietary fiber grams – sugar alcohol grams (if on the label) = net carb grams
% daily value (DV)
- ≤5% DV for a nutrient is considered low, 10%–19% DV is a good source, and ≥20% DV is considered high or an excellent source.
- Look for foods low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars (“negative nutrients”). Go for foods with higher % DVs for fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium (beneficial nutrients lacking in many people’s diets).
- All foods can fit into a healthy eating style! If you like a food high in a nutrient you want to get less of, or low in a nutrient you want to get more of, adjust the other foods you eat over the course of the day to achieve balance.
Use the Nutrition Facts Label to make empowered food choices that support your eating style.